I· Insurance Ireland says its members have the capacity and experience to deliver a universal pension solution to the State at low cost and low risk
· Insurance Ireland is committed to collaborating with Government in delivering the right universal pension solution for Ireland
Issued Tuesday, 30 September, 2014. Insurance Ireland today launched a new report entitled ‘A Universal Pension for Ireland’, which is a discussion document looking at international best practice in countries where universal pensions have already been introduced. The Government-commissioned OECD Review of the Irish Pension System recommended the establishment of a universal defined contribution model for both public and private sectors. In February 2014, An Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, indicated that the preferred solution would be enrolment of Irish workers into a supplementary scheme and that a roadmap and timeline for introduction would be developed.
The Insurance Ireland report looked at international best practice and the role that industry can play in such a scheme. Compiled for Insurance Ireland by TOR Financial Consulting, a UK-based consultancy with long-standing involvement with pensions in relation to public policy and industry trends, the report was launched today ahead of an Insurance Ireland workshop on universal pensions attended by An Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton.
Speaking about the Insurance Ireland report, Kevin Thompson, Chief Executive, Insurance Ireland, said “Our members have the capacity and experience to deliver a universal pension solution to the State at low cost and at low risk. Ireland already has a mature DC pension infrastructure and our members can make that available to Government. We are committed to collaborating with Government in delivering the right universal pension solution for Ireland. The country has public debt of €192bn but this becomes insignificant when you take account hidden state pension liabilities estimated at €440bn. Our population is continuing to grow and people are living longer into retirement, and clearly we need to address the issue of pensions in a very fundamental way. Agreement must be reached on system which ensures future retirees are more financially secure and a way must be found to assist workers to sacrifice income now for income at the end of their working lives.”
“Our objective in joining the debate is to support the government by sharing the industry’s knowledge and providing a forum for informed dialogue,” said Kevin Thompson, “In the interests of contributing to the debate, we have: established a Pensions Policy Working Group comprising senior life-insurance industry experts to oversee our proposal to completion; engaged a firm of economic / pension consultants who will assist us; established, as part of a wider initiative to engage with a range of public policy challenges, an Academic Advisory Panel. The first task of this think-tank will be to ensure that our pension reform proposals reflect what has been learned from the experience of other countries, in particular: the UK, US, New Zealand, Australia and Switzerland.”
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