Leo Varadkar endorses pensions shake-up

Leo Varadkar

Plans endorsed by Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar for reform of the pensions industry have been welcomed by the pensions industry.

Mr Varadkar said he favoured proposals by the Pensions Authority that aim “to reform and simplify supplementary private pension provision in Ireland”.

“The current situation where a majority of our citizens rely solely on the state pension in retirement is unsustainable and we have a duty to ensure that a better system is now put in place,” said Mr Varadkar.

Calling for a shake-up, the Pensions Authority said it was “seriously concerned” about pensions provision. 

Its proposals include higher standards for trustees of occupational pension schemes; a process to authorise new schemes; and closer oversight of the schemes. 

It also wants fewer pension savings vehicles.

Mr Varadkar said the reforms were needed before the country could embrace a new savings plan for retirement.

“I regard the development and introduction of a new, universal workplace retirement saving system for those workers without supplementary pensions as an essential objective of mine,” he said.

Pensions adviser Mercer said the proposed reforms were welcome because “as a country, we face significant demographic challenges and therefore, both the State and private savings will be imperative for ensuring a sustainable pension system”.

Jerry Moriarty, the chief executive at the Irish Association of Pension Funds, said the reforms would address “anomalies and confusion” in pension regulations.


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