Pensions crisis: no easy solution

A REPORT into the Irish pensions crisis says there is no easy solution to the problem, having looked at examples of how other countries have tried to tackle lack of pension cover.

The Hibernian Insurance report is based on research carried out by Ark Life, a subsidiary of the group.

Hibernian, Ireland’s third largest life and long-term savings provider, published the report, The Global Pensions Puzzle, which examines the Irish pensions crisis in an international context, yesterday.

The report said a large part of the Irish pension problem was that so many people defer starting a pension until after 35, said Tony O’Riordan, managing director, Hibernian Life & Pensions.

It concludes that the challenges facing Ireland are not as extreme as those in the USA, France and the United Kingdom.

But issues facing the Irish pensions system highlighted in the report include the low-level of Government investment in pensions (3.2% of GDP compared with an EU average of 12.2%) and the increase of 86% in the public sector pensions bill between 2000 and 2005.

The results of primary research of the attitudes of the middle-aged to pensions and long-term savings detailed in the report show that less than half of this group believe that their pension arrangements are adequate with only three out of 10 happy with their pension cover going forward.

Of greater concern, said the report, was the fact that over two in 10 said they had no pension plans in place at the time of the survey.

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