Up to 30,000 people who are set to turn 65 over the next 12 months could be forced to claim unemployment benefit for two years as a result of changes being applied to the age at which someone qualifies for the statutory pension, it has been claimed.
TRYING to instigate a discussion that might acknowledge our looming pensions’ crisis brings to mind those myriad sandwich-board men who warned us all with unshakeable certainty that “The End Is Nigh” — we all know he will be right eventually but we’re not that bothered about the grim prospect to do anything about it just yet. Make us good Lord, but not just yet.
The body that represents the largest corporate pension funds and pension investment managers has said the value of savings held in pension schemes is now higher than before the crash, despite the Government extracting an estimated €2.5bn in levies over the last four years.
In the face of escalating and ever more frightening warnings around pensions, and the very real prospect of real poverty for hundreds of thousands of people and their dependants, the Government’s inaction on this festering crisis seems at best recklessly negligent.
Any change to the marginal rate tax relief in next month’s budget would be hugely detrimental to attempts to encourage people to save for retirement as it would introduce a disincentive to save, according to one leading body.
When organisations as disparate as IBEC, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, the Irish Association of Pension Funds and the Society of Actuaries in Ireland find common cause and warn Government of a looming crisis then only a foolish politician would look the other way and hope the problem will resolve itself.
POLITICIANS cannot resist expediency. Urgent takes precedence over important. Years of demographic analysis, a Green Paper in 2007 and the launch of the National Pension Framework in March of last year set out our looming dilemma of unfunded pension obligations. By 2050 the ratio of workers to retirees will be 1.8: 1. Currently that ratio is 5.6: 1.