IRELAND - Public sector pension liabilities will drain €157bn (US$235bn) from the Irish economy over the next 50 years, a report has warned.
In an examination of public service schemes covering over 300,000 staff and 100,000 existing pensioners and their dependents, comptroller and auditor general John Buckley concluded the pension burden will “rise significantly” over the period.
He said public sector pensions – the majority of which are defined benefit schemes – had already accrued €101bn in net liabilities at the end of 2008, requiring 0.5% of gross national product (GNP) to meet the cost of payments.
But Buckley argued projected demographic changes will increase this figure more than three-fold, reaching 1.8% of GNP by 2058.
Senior auditor Mallachy Quinn added: “Over the next 50 years, the proportion of working people to pensioners in Ireland will increase from 6:1 to 2:1. This, along with an expected 80% growth in public services over the period, will place a significant strain on the public purse between now and 2058.”
The report also found that the pension provision of an average public servant will cost around 9% of pay, once contributions made and the pension related deduction have been taken into account. The gross cost equates to around 20% of pay, the comptroller said.
Jonathan Stapleton asks whether newly-accredited professional trustees should be a statutory fixture on pension scheme boards.
Savers are being warned by the Insolvency Service to guard their pension pots from investment scammers and negligent trustees as it winds up 24 companies.
Respondents say they should only be required in certain situations as the system is not broken.