Pension Reform Plan 'potentially significant'; Congress commits to engaging in detailed consultation on implementation

28 Feb 2018

Pensions 2 Pensions Conference, Sept 29, 2016

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has described the publication by government today (Feb 28) of the Roadmap for Pensions Reform as “potentially significant in the development of future pension policies.”

Congress General Secretary Patricia King said that “the plan to move to a Total Contribution Approach will go some way towards addressing the inequality of the current eligibility criteria for the state pension."

In addition, she noted that the proposal to introduce a second pillar, auto enrolment occupational pension scheme for all workers coincides with Congress submissions to successive governments over a number of years, on this issue  

“While the implementation of any such scheme will be a matter for consultation between unions, employers and government, it is critical that we move to address this major deficit in our pensions system, with some 60% of private sector workers currently without workplace pension coverage and forced to rely solely on the state pension in retirement,” Ms King said. 

“The proposal to extend the state pension age to 68 in 2028 will pose major income challenges for workers whose employment may not extend to this date and who will be solely dependent on the state pension for income in retirement. 

“Congress has consistently queried these changes to the state pension age, pointing out that Ireland was moving faster and further than most other EU states and was only one of three OECD countries planning such an increase,” she said. 

“In relation to changes to Defined Benefit Scheme regulations, Congress had extensive engagement with the Department of Employment & Social Protection in the lead up to the publication of the Social Welfare Pensions and Civil Registration Bill 2017 and we look forward to its early enactment.

“The government has committed to detailed consultation with key stakeholders on the proposed reforms and Congress looks forward to participating fully in this process and working to have these crucial matters addressed,” Ms King concluded.