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Ireland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. However, we are becoming more selfish and that selfishness manifests itself as we get wealthier.
That is sad but it is a fact of life. In those circumstances, the people who are most likely to suffer are the young, those who are retired and the elderly.
It is important to make provision for the people who are likely to be affected when the shutters come down. Times will not always be good and every one will look to protect themselves. Those who are stuck on a limited or fixed income are the most likely to suffer and to have to make sacrifices. That should be borne in mind at this stage and it should continue to be borne in mind by the Pensions Board.
It is difficult to talk to a young person about investing in a pension fund. A 25-year-old has other priorities and one can understand that. It is important that everyone should recognise the importance of focusing on this issue in the first instance rather than deciding at the age of 45 or 50 that one should take out a pension when it will cost more. The pension providers will gain more, but the contributors will get less benefit for their contribution at that age.
All the workforce should be insured in some shape or fashion. I hope when that comes about there will be a greater degree of recognition of responsibility by young people that there was in the past. You must compliment the various employment sectors that specifically set out to provide pension funds for their employees over the years.
Some schemes are good and have provided cover for people in their retirement which they can well do with. If there had not been that foresight 40 or 50 years ago, many people would not have cover and would have to depend entirely on a basic social welfare pension or a means- tested social welfare pension. In such social issues, we are a selfish race of people to put it mildly, I’m alright Jack and to hell with you.
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