900,000 workers 'still without a pension'

The Pension Board's annual report published today shows that around 900,000 workers are still without a pension.

The report revealed that the current high level of awareness about pensions it is not translating into numbers joining schemes.

There was only a 1% increase in the number of people in occupational pension schemes last year, and just 68,000 people have a PRSA, according to the report.

Under the new social partnership deal, the government must present a Green Paper on the issue within twelve months.

Minister for Social and Family Affairs Seamus Brennan warned of tough decisions ahead, promising that the issue of mandatory pensions will be considered.

He also urged people to invest their SSIA windfall in pensions.

Under the scheme funded by the Department of Finance, investors can pay in up to €7,500 of their SSIA money and a bonus of €2,500 will be added.

“The incentives on offer are very attractive and I would urge people with maturing SSIA’s to consider availing of this worthwhile offer,” he said.

The minister said in order to lay the foundations for a lasting, affordable and sustainable pensions solution for Ireland, people had to believe the system worked.

“It is critically important that those in existing schemes, and many of those in the 900,000 without pensions who are considering joining schemes, have full confidence in the security that a good pension will provide in their later years,” he said.

Mr Brennan added that improving security was key to encouraging more workers to prepare for the future.

“It is an area that requires constant vigilance and close scrutiny and that is why the role of the Pensions Board is so pivotal to the building and maintaining of that confidence,” he added.

Mr Brennan revealed that he has received a report on mandatory or quasi-mandatory pension schemes from the Pensions Board and will bring it to the Cabinet for consideration in the coming weeks.

The Government is also working on a Green Paper on pensions, which was agreed as part of the new social partnership agreement Towards 2016.

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