Three quarters of workers cannot afford to retire, an alarming survey revealed today.
Employment law firm Peninsula Ireland warned 74% of employees are facing a pension time bomb as they are not saving enough for retirement or suffering massive losses on investments.
The vast majority of workers now expect to work well into their sixties in order to provide for themselves.
Alan Price, Peninsula Ireland managing director, said the firm’s study showed a huge number of Irish workers will have to put retirement plans on hold.
“Most people are just not putting enough cash into their pensions and with younger workers not preparing for the future, they could find themselves having to work a lot longer than they expect,” he said.
“With a lack of pension and minimal savings, employees will find themselves forced to postpone retirement.”
The company surveyed 306 employees and 133 employers from a variety of industries over the last month.
It found more than two thirds of employers have seen an increase in the number of job applications from older candidates over the last six months.
A leading think-tank warned during the summer that Ireland had suffered the biggest pension fund losses in the world in 2008.
The average retirement investment plan lost more than a third of its value.
The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warned Irish workers have suffered more than those in the US, Britain, Japan, Canada or even Iceland where banks went bust.
Peninsula Ireland, however, said employers would welcome workers staying on in the job as they bring experience, knowledge and high skills.
“Highly skilled mature workers are able to pass on their knowledge and experiences to their younger counter-parts, thereby minimising the effect that the eventual retirement will have on a business,” Mr Price said.