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27th Jan 2022

40% of Irish workers without a pension say they “can’t afford” one

Hugh Carr

irish workers

34% of workers aged between 20-69 years have no pension outside of the State.

40% of Irish workers who do not have a pension said that they haven’t put one together as they “can’t afford” one.

The statistic was published in a survey published by the Central Statistics Office on Thursday (27 January).

45% of people without pensions said that they hadn’t a plan together as they “hadn’t got around to it yet”.

34% of workers aged between 20-69 years have no pension coverage outside of the State pension.

81% of those working in a professional setting currently have an occupational or personal pension scheme in place, compared to only 43% of those working in a skilled trade.

Nearly half of workers aged between 55 and 69 years have been in the same occupational pension scheme for 20 years or more, while, as would be expected, that number falls to 9% of people in the 35 to 44 years bracket.

“Of persons in employment in Quarter 3 2021, around two-thirds (66%) had pension coverage of some form (outside of the State pension), up one percentage point from 2020,” said Maureen Delamere, Statistician with the CSO.

“Pension coverage in 2021 followed the same trend as in 2020 where pension coverage was lowest among younger workers.

“Just over a quarter (25%) of workers in the 20 to 24 years age group had pension coverage.

“Supplementary pension coverage increases with age, with almost 74% of the oldest age group surveyed, persons aged 55-69 years, having supplementary pension cover.

“Most supplementary pension cover is with defined contribution (69% of pensions) rather than defined benefit (28% of pensions),” she added.

The economic sector which had the highest pension coverage at the time of the survey was “Public administration & defence; compulsory social security” at 95%.

“For workers (including self-employed), the State Pension was cited as the expected main source of income on retirement for half (50%) of workers with no pension coverage, while more than three in 10 (31%) had not yet decided on this issue,” Delamere added.