Pension reform appears to stall as Government misses 28 out of 36 of target dates set out in Pensions Roadmap
The IAPF, which represents pension savers, reiterated concerns voiced earlier in the year at the lack of progress on the Government’s Pension Roadmap, which was announced with fanfare almost 2 years ago. Fearful that pensions reform has fallen off the Government’s agenda, it is now calling on the powers that be to appoint a Pensions Minister.
Speaking at IAPF’s Annual Benefit Conference today, which was held at Printworks, Dublin Castle, and sponsored by Irish Life, Jerry Moriarty CEO of the IAPF, outlined out the concerns of pension savers and trustees,
“Pension provision is a long-term challenge for our society, and it is all too easy to long-finger it with so many short-term and immediate priorities. But the demographics are only pointing in one direction and we need action now. Critically, continued inaction will result in a very difficult retirement for a huge cohort of Irish people for many years to come.
The sheer scale and urgency of this issue is such that it needs a dedicated focus and we therefore believe that a Minister for Pensions should be appointed, as has been done in a number of other European countries.
We understand that work has been undertaken on the Roadmap by the various Government Departments and working groups and we believe the Roadmap offers a clear way forward to addressing the issues we face in the long-term so the IAPF have been happy to support and contribute to that work. However, we are increasingly concerned that much of this work may have slowed in recent months and could ultimately be derailed until after the next election. It is disappointing that most of this work remains unseen and appears to have lost its political direction.
The lack of progress on the Roadmap and the failure to transpose the European Pensions Directive into Irish law 9 months after it was due does not give any confidence that pensions are seen as a high priority. Having a dedicated Pensions Minister would strengthen the focus on retirement planning and give it the importance we believe it deserves, rather than just being a small part of a very big department.”
Attendees at the event listened to how the Pensions Roadmap has the potential to deliver real improvements for pension savers and to those who have yet to commence saving, and how the Government’s ambitious planning document could, with the right direction, deliver quality retirement for the current and future generations.
Jerry went on to say,
“The Pension Minister’s initial focus should be on the implementation of the Pensions Roadmap and specifically on completing the following actions;
- Publish the final design for the auto enrolment system
- Complete the simplification of the pension system, including the reform of approved retirement funds, pension tax harmonisation and the elimination of anomalies in the treatment of different retirement arrangements
- Deliver on the additional protections promised for members of defined benefit schemes.
We are 18 months into a detailed plan and the Government has only met 8 of the 36 actions that were due to be delivered by now. We need to work together to ensure that current and future generations can have pensions that are secure, fair and simple.”
Note to the Editor
What: IAPF ANNUAL BENEFITS CONFERENCE 2019
When: Thursday Oct 3rd 8am – 1pm
Where: Dublin Castle Dublin 2
About the IAPF Established in 1973, the Irish Association of Pension Funds (IAPF) is a non-profit, non-commercial organisation representing pension savers, whose aim is to ensure we have a secure, fair and simple system of pension provision in Ireland.