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Charlie Weston

MORE than a third of people with a pension have stopped paying into it.

And large numbers of those who do not have an occupational or private pension say their employer does not offer one.

New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that only six out of 10 workers have some sort of pension to supplement the State’s PRSI pension.

Most of those who have a pension to boost the State pension have one through their job.

Next year the State pension will not be payable until people reach the age of 67.

Most of those who do not have a private or occupational pension expect to rely on the State pension in retirement, according to the CSO’s ‘Pension Coverage 2019’ publication.

Over half of workers with no occupational pension say their employer does not offer one.

A quarter told surveyors they chose not to join their employer’s pension scheme.

A further 15pc of employees without an occupational pension were not eligible to join their employer’s occupational pension scheme.

Almost one third of workers with personal pension coverage had deferred payments for a period.

No reasons were given for this decision, although personal finance experts said affordability is likely to be a key reason.

Questions were posed to workers about why they have no pension.

Just over a third said they have never got around to putting one in place. A similar number said they can’t afford one.

The Government is planning to launch an auto-enrolment pension scheme from 2022, in a bid to dramatically increase pension coverage.

Pension coverage is lowest among younger workers.

Just one in five workers between the ages of 20 and 24 years had a pension, the CSO reported.

The numbers with a pension more than double for those in the 24 to 34 age bracket.

Pension coverage is greatest among workers between the ages of 45 and 54, with seven out of 10 of these having a pension through their job or are members of a private scheme.

The majority of people now have a defined contribution scheme. This is one where the level of pension payment depends on the amount of money put into the plan, and the investment return.

Defined contribution schemes have replaced defined benefit schemes in popularity.

Around a third have a defined benefit schemes.

These schemes are withering away outside the public sector as they are hugely expensive. The pension payment tends to be guaranteed and is based on the length of service and the final salary at retirement.

The survey of households, carried out by the CSO, also found that pension coverage is lower for non-Irish workers than those born here.

Half of the self-employed have a pension, which is below the level for employees.

Reference: www.independent.ie (January 6 2020)