IRELAND - The Pensions Green Paper, which will aim to outline the major policy choices, is on course to be completed by the end of March, minister for social affairs Seamus Brennan has confirmed.
The minister explained that all options to increase pensions coverage must be explored – “including some form a mandatory pension provision or a soft mandatory system.” Coverage has been a major issue in the Irish industry as nealry half its work force do not have a pension.
“Despite the best efforts of all involved in promoting greater awareness and takeup of pensions, the reality is that the overall coverage rate remains disappointing," Brennan lamented.
It had been hoped that the advent of the Green Paper will help improve the situation and ensure adequacy of pension provision for future generations.
In a speech, the minister explained the Green Paper was yet another step in addressing the pensions challenges.
The document will include views and proposals by all the pension organisations in Ireland, including the Irish Association for Pension Funds.
The minister suggested tapping into the success of the SSIA scheme and build on the saving habits that bred. The SSIA accounts saw a huge takeup by the Irish people and industry bodies have been hoping for the system to be replicated in the pensions space.
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has announced it will shrink its board by more than one-third as part of a governance overhaul to make it "agile and more appropriate".
Smaller FTSE 350 defined benefit (DB) schemes were nearly 15 percentage points less well-funded than larger schemes in 2017, according to a Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) analysis.
The advent of collective pension systems could help the UK avoid demographic challenges which will make it "impossible" for society to help savers in retirement, experts say.