Government stalling on ‘pensions time-bomb’ review is getting old fast

In April, 2012, Social Protection Minister Joan Burton announced that the OECD would conduct an independent review of long-term pensions policy in Ireland. She said: “the study will be a short and focused review”.

In February, 2013, in a reply to a parliamentary question, she said that a consultation forum was held in Farmleigh House in September, 2012.

“It is anticipated that the final OECD report will be presented to me in the coming weeks”. On April 22, 2013, the preliminary ‘Review Of The Irish Pension System’ was published.

The final report was published in May, 2014. Last week, the Government gave the go-ahead for an expert group to begin work on a new retirement plan to address the ‘pensions time-bomb’.

A spokesman for the Tánaiste said the scheme would be complex and would take at least a year to design. The OECD reports just regurgitated information that is already contained in numerous other reports.

There was no mention of academics Gerard Hughes or Jim Stewart, of Trinity College, who have made an enormous contribution to the pensions debate.

There is no mention of the elephant in the room — the 1982 EU Directive, which the Tánaiste promised to transpose into Irish law in 2009.

No doubt, we will get assurances that all this will be sorted out when the present government is re-elected.

Michael Terry

65 College Grove

Castleknock

Dublin 1

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