IRELAND - An economic survey of Ireland describing the country's pensions system as 'costly and poorly targeted' has won support of industry players.
Jerry Moriarty, director of policy, Irish Association of Pension Funds (IAPF), told Global Pensions: "We are pleased the report picked up on the tax issue as we have been calling for reform for some time.
"Instead of relief, we could use a type of tax credit. Essentially, if people understood the system better, they would take better advantage of what was available to them."
The survey said Ireland was well placed to address pension reform as its tax level and government debt were relatively low.
It warned the government to act quickly, however, as it estimated the current system would become unsustainable as the population began to age, which would require substantial changes to public spending.
The Department of Social and Family Affairs said the report mirrored many of the issues raised by the pensions green paper which it released in October 2007.
Orlaigh Quinn, principal officer in the pensions policy unit of the department, said: "While it recognises that we have done a lot to prepare for the future, it also points out some challenges that remain, particularly around adequacy and sustainability.
"The views and recommendations in the survey will form another input into the consultation process," Quinn concluded.
A member of the OECD is scheduled to speak at a conference to wrap up the green paper consultation period at the end of May.
The survey commended the green paper as 'an opportunity to implement a coherent package of measures that would put the system on the right track for the long term'.
It also called for the private pension system to be made more efficient, including an examination of funding standards of defined benefit (DB) schemes - a measure also welcomed by the IAPF.
Other recommendations included indexing retirement age to changes in longevity and addressing poor take up of pensions with compulsory saving options.
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