Most Irish Workers Don’t Have Access to Work Pensions

And nearly a quarter of people with access to work pensions don’t use them.

Less than half (46%) of working adults in Ireland say there is a company pension plan available for them at work, according to new research from life insurance company Irish Life. And of those workers who do have access to an employer pension, nearly a quarter of them (24%) are not taking advantage of it.

“This highlights a significant lack of awareness, as all employers must provide access to either a company pension scheme or PRSA,” said Tony Lawless, managing director of Irish Life Corporate Business.

The research also found that less than half (49%) of all workers who are saving into a group pension plan are aware of the amount that their employer pays into it. Younger workers are more aware of their contribution levels than their elder coworkers, as two-thirds of workers aged 18-34 know how much their employer contributes into their pension plan, while only one-quarter of those aged 55 or older know the contribution levels. Overall, women were less aware of contribution levels (40%) than men (56%).

“From an analysis of our defined contribution pension book, 90% of people might not hit a target of achieving a pension of 33% of their final salary unless they save more,” said Lawless. “This indicates that pension awareness overall is still an issue for the industry and for the population.”

Saving levels were higher among women (67%) than men (59%), and people over 55 years old were saving the most. Of those who are saving, 43% of people are saving more than €100 a month, 18% are saving between €51 and €100 a month, and another 18% are saving between €20 and €50 a month.

The research also showed that of those who intend to start saving, but haven’t started yet, 14% said they could sock away more than €100 a month if they started saving, 42% said they could afford to save between €80 and €100 per month, and 25% said they could afford to save between €20 and €80 a month.

Lawless said Irish workers “can significantly enhance their financial position in retirement by starting to save into a pension, or by even increasing the amount they save in addition to any employer pension contributions they may receive.”

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