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Brian Hayes says political parties must come together to ensure pension issue is resolved

about 6 hours ago

Charlie Taylor

Brian Hayes MEP: “the shocking truth is that more than half of all Irish workers have no pension cover”




An all-party national pensions policy is urgently needed to ensure workers have sufficient income when they retire, according to Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes.

Speaking after the publication of a report that shows a widening gap between what people are saving and what they will likely need in retirement, Mr Hayes said pensions provision is a long-term issue that crosses party lines.

“A national pension policy is urgently required with all party support. If we could get agreement on that policy, park it for future election campaigns and then no matter who is in government, implement it over the coming years – that would represent progress,” said Mr Hayes.

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“It is the responsibility of today’s politicians to make adequate provisions for future requirements. A comprehensive approach to a national pension policy will of course mean that those at work making private pension arrangements will need to supplement state pensions. A rapidly increasing cohort of over 80s, many with complex health care demands, will put huge strains on the health budget,” he added.

The Mind the Gap study by insurer Aviva says, on average, Irish people need to increase the amount they save by more than €1,000 a month.

The report says that the shortfall between current savings and the amount needed to generate an adequate retirement income has risen sharply in recent years due a number of factors such as a higher life expectancy rate, lower investment returns and more expensive annuities.

Mr Hayes said that at the very least politicians should be able to reach an agreement on an auto-enrolment policy option that would ensure that all workers are saving for their retirement.

“The shocking truth is that more than half of all Irish workers have no pension cover,” said Mr Hayes, who recently put on record his support for a pan-European personal pension product (PEPP) that would be licensed to operate throughout the European Union.


“We have had the reports and consultations over many years. We have seen in other Member States of the EU what works and what’s acceptable to the public. We now have to move to decision stage and then onto an implementation of making it work,” he added.