Workers concerned about pension plans - ICTU
by Diarmaid Mac a Bhaird
Most older workers will be unable to meet the target of 40 years’ worth of contributions to qualify for a full rate pension, which is set out in plans for pension ‘auto-enrolment’. And the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) has called on the Government to revert to the 30 year target it originally identified.
ICTU Social Policy Officer Dr Laura Bambrick says the requirement of 40 years is not feasible for many older workers because of time spent in part-time employment. She also says the Government’s failure to meet deadlines for finalising the design of key aspects of its pension reform plan present major concerns for many workers.
Dr Bambrick said these concerns were further exacerbated by recent CSO figures, which found that over 50% of low and middle income earners were not saving for their retirement. This could leave them completely reliant on the State pension.
Under its ‘Roadmap to Pension Reform’ the Government was due to finalise plans to implement its new approach by the end of 2018, and bring forward legislation by April 2019. The Government also missed its March deadline to finalise designs for an auto-enrolment system to sign almost all workers up to an occupational pension scheme – with contributions from employers and the Government, as well as employees – by 2022.
Dr Bambrick added that many people who are coming up to retirement in 2019 are confused about pension reforms. “People don’t know what the rules are going to be when the new pension comes,” she said.