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Insurance Ireland Launches Road map for A Universal Pension to Help 600,000 Workers Plan for Retirement

13th September. Insurance Ireland has launched A Universal Pension for Ireland, a landmark report to address the key components of a Universal Pension model and dramatically increase pension coverage in Ireland.

Following the 2013 Government-commissioned OECD Review and its recommendation for a universal defined-contribution pension model for Ireland, Insurance Ireland undertook a detailed examination of the technical issues involved to allow the Government create the best Universal Pension model for Ireland.

This included a series of workshops over 18 months where international experts, who played an integral role in establishing schemes such as New Zealand’s KiwiSaver and Australia’s Super, interacted with Irish policymakers and stakeholders. A Universal Pension for Ireland, commissioned by Insurance Ireland and prepared by TOR Financial Consulting, is the culmination of this work and forms the basis of a major policy workshop in Dublin today.

Kevin Thompson, CEO of Insurance Ireland stated “This is the first roadmap for a universal pension in Ireland and it can dramatically increase pension coverage for Irish workers. Given our demographics and coverage rates, we urgently need a policy approach that maximises participation, achieves simplification of offering and reduces costs. In recognising this challenge, we have outlined a horizon of three to five years to implement a Universal Pension in Ireland that could provide pension coverage to approximately 600,000 workers.

“This follows 18 months of work to move the agenda forward by stimulating informed debate on what a Universal Pension would look like and how it can be delivered. The result is a unique report that, together with today’s conference, can help us decide on the best long-term solution for Ireland.”

Gerry Hassett, the Chair of the Insurance Ireland Pensions Policy Working Group stated “The case for a Universal Pension model has been made many times, the question is how it should best be implemented to suit the needs of Irish workers. Given the timeframe to implement such a policy, there is an urgency around when we will commence our journey. 

The five key considerations for a Universal Pension are its governance, its investment policies, the design of the pension products, determining appropriate retirement income and deciding how it is to be administered. This report offers expert insight from countries such as Australia and New Zealand who faced the same questions when establishing their own Universal Pension models. This experience, from comparable countries, is vital to implement a pension policy that can help individuals and families in Ireland plan for retirement.”

Today’s conference involves thought-leaders from around the world interacting with Irish policymakers and stakeholders to inform the next steps in realising this objective.

The report can be accessed at:


Notes for Editors:

·        The report looked at Universal Pensions models such as those in New Zealand, Australia, The UK, The United States, The Netherlands and Chile to identify which aspects of each can be deployed to meet Irish policy requirements.

·        The report focuses on the key issues of Governance, Product Design, Investment, Retirement/Decumulation, Administration and Simplification.

·        *McKinsey estimated that 600,000 private sector works would be targeted in a universal model.

·        As the Voice of Insurance in Ireland, Insurance Ireland members manage €82.4bn in pension assets on behalf of over 1m Irish workers and provides the benefits of a leading-edge Defined Contribution infrastructure.

Media contact:

John Byrne

Communications Manager, Insurance Ireland

Tel: 01 644 7781 / 087 9383852

Nuala Buttner

Q4 Public Relations

Tel: 01 475 1444 / 085 174 4275



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