Minister Doherty Brings National Discussion on Retirement Savings System to Galway


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Public Consultation Seminar on an Automatic Enrolment Retirement Savings System held in Galway on Monday, 15 October

Monday 15th October 2018

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, T.D., today opened the Department’s public consultation seminar on a new Automatic Enrolment Retirement Savings System in Ireland, held in Galway. The seminar, held in the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection’s Intreo Centre, Fairgreen Road, Galway, is one of a number being held regionally. It is part of a wider consultation process, the aim of which is to provide everyone with the opportunity to become involved in the debate around the design of the new savings system and to make their views known to the Department. To view information on upcoming events, or to share your views, visit www.welfare.ie/consultations

Speaking at the Galway seminar, Minister Doherty said:

“Automatic Enrolment is perhaps the most fundamental policy reform in a generation in terms of retirement savings provision. The new Automatic Enrolment system will, when implemented, enable people to save and accumulate sufficient assets to maintain better personal living standards in their retirement. In this way, the combined use of public pensions and private retirement savings will allow employees, employers, and the State to each play a part in addressing the provision of improved retirement incomes.” 

“Feedback received at the public consultation seminars and from other private individuals and representative groups during this consultation process is very important and will be used to inform Government and assist in determining the framework design of the preferred operational structure for the Automatic Enrolment system.  To help us ensure the new system is the best we can make it, I would strongly encourage the participation of all interested parties in this national consultation process.” 

The Roadmap for Pensions Reform 2018-2023 encompasses major reforms of future State, private, and public service pension provisions. The Government has confirmed the State pension is, and will remain, the bedrock of the pension system and a protection against poverty. However, the State pension is not designed, nor intended, to deliver full income adequacy in retirement. To achieve such an outcome, it is recognised that most employees should supplement their State pension income with personal retirement savings. Yet just 35% of the private sector workforce has private pensions coverage and Ireland is one of only two OECD countries without a mandatory earnings related element to retirement saving.

To this end, the Minister noted:

It is increasingly evident that most Irish workers are not saving enough, or indeed at all, for their retirement years. Many people will be faced with a serious reduction in their living standards when they retire – a fall in income they clearly do not want.  Having examined the options and looked at international experience, the Government previously decided that a new Automatic Enrolment supplementary retirement savings system, where the individual retains the freedom to opt-out, is the best approach to take.”

Members of the public are particularly encouraged to become involved in the debate and make their views known to the Department. 

The consultation period will remain open until the 4th November 2018 and responses should be forwarded by email to autoenrolment@welfare.ie. While submissions in electronic format are strongly encouraged, those who wish to make a written submission can write to:

Automatic Enrolment Programme Management Office
Pensions Policy
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Floor 1 Áras Mhic Dhiarmada
Store Street
Dublin 1
D01 WY03

 

ENDS
Note for Editors:

In August this year, Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, T.D launched a ‘Strawman Proposal for a new Automatic Enrolment Retirement Savings System in Ireland’, delivering on a commitment made by Government in Roadmap for Pensions Reform 2018-2023.

The Strawman proposal is a high level draft designed to generate discussion and improve ideas. It should not, in any way, be construed as Government’s confirmation of what form the Automatic Enrolment system will ultimately take. Minister Doherty has said that, as Government works to achieve the overall objective of improved income adequacy for Ireland’s future retirees, its goal in preparing this Strawman is to help interested parties conceptualise possible approaches to Auto Enrolment and to facilitate a focused debate around key design issues.

The Strawman proposal for a new Automatic Enrolment Retirement Savings System together with other support documents are available on www.welfare.ie/consultations

To give those who may want quick and easy access to the proposals, a summarised ‘Plain English’ version of the Strawman has also been produced.

The Strawman should not, in any way, be construed as a confirmation of what form Automatic Enrolment will ultimately take.  Readers should not take the key features as definitive.  It is a high level draft intended to generate and prompt discussion and improve ideas.  The intention is to help interested parties conceptualise plausible approaches to AE and to facilitate a focused debate around key design issues and how to address income adequacy for retirees. 

See Roadmap for Pensions Reform 2018-2023 Strand 2 ‘Building Retirement Readiness for details relating to Government’s proposals relating to the development and implementation of a State sponsored supplementary retirement savings system in which workers will be automatically enrolled.

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Last modified:15/10/2018