LATEST data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on the number of workers who have occupational or personal pensions has been described as “extremely worrying” by Limerick Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea who is the party’s spokesman on Social Protection.
The proportion of Irish workers aged between 20 and 69 who are members of any kind of pension scheme fell from 51.2 per cent in October 2009 to 46.7 per cent in October 2015, according to the CSO’s figures.
Deputy O’Dea claims that the previous Fine Gael and Labour Government significantly contributed to the problem by raiding private pension funds.
“What we have here is a pension bombshell waiting to detonate. While the State Old Age Pension will remain the cornerstone of pension provision in the country, most people do not believe this will be sufficient for their needs in retirement,” he warned.
“The fall in the number of people who have a pension is extremely worrying but perhaps not surprising following the €2.5 billion raid Fine Gael and Labour carried out on private pension funds. They also failed to develop a co-ordinated pension policy which reflects the changed nature of the workplace.
Few, if any, employees he claims, now expect to be with the same employer for 40 years.
“There is a need to reflect this by providing for more flexible pension arrangements. A more dynamic pension and savings system would take account of other major life events people have to deal with such as redundancy, critical illness, house purchase or debt issues,” Deputy O’Dea added.
by Alan Jacques