Pensions Drive Launched For Women - Mary Coughlan Minister For Social And Family Affairs

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The biggest gathering of women in the country the women's mini marathon will be targeted as part of the National Pensions Awareness Campaign for women.

An estimated 40,000 information booklets will be given to runners in the annual race this year to promote pensions and to encourage women to start saving for their retirement.

"Women and Pensions" a guide on pension provision for women was launched today by international runner Catherina McKiernan.

"Just over 44% of women at work have a private or occupational pension against 55% for men," said Minister Coughlan who has provided €500,000 to raise pensions awareness this year.

"Society has changed dramatically in recent decades and the old certainties are no longer there. I hope that this book will provide encouragement to women to consider participating in a private or occupational pension thereby guaranteeing their own security and independence in retirement," said Minister Coughlan.

The Minister welcomed the publication of the booklet as a useful guide for women in relation to their social welfare pension entitlements and the options available in relation to occupational and private pensions.

"This campaign will still aim to raise general awareness in relation to pensions but it will also be more focussed and will aim to target those sections of the population and areas of the country which have been identified by CSO research as having the lowest coverage. This booklet on Women and Pensions is the first major initiative in this area," said Minister Coughlan.

"At present just over 50% of those in employment have a private or occupational pension. The Pensions Board in its report on the National Pensions Policy Initiative estimated that up to 70% need additional pensions coverage if they are to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living."

"This ambitious target has been adopted by Government and social partners and we will be working extremely hard in the coming years to bring coverage up to these levels," said Minister Coughlan.

The Minister thanked a range of women's organisations for their support in aiming to boost women's pensions coverage. These included the National Women's Council of Ireland, the ICWA, IFA, Network Ireland –women in business, Trade Unions, political parties, and others. The booklet will be available through the Department of Social and Family Affairs, Citizen information Centres and public libraries and on the Pensions Board website.

ENDS - 3rd March 2003

Further Information: Eddie Walsh, Ph. 01-7043184 or 087-2549683

Last modified:03/03/2004