Insurance Ireland Welcomes Announcement on Automatic Enrolment Retirement Savings System
Issued 29 March, 2022. Insurance Ireland welcomes the announcement today of the Design Principles for Ireland’s Automatic Enrolment Retirement Savings System by Minister Heather Humphreys. Insurance Ireland Chief Executive, Moyagh Murdock, said “Auto Enrolment has been under discussion for many years and today’s announcement is an important milestone towards ensuring that many of those people who do not currently have a pension are encouraged to make provision for retirement.”
“The proposed Central Processing Agency will handle significant volumes of consumer savings and must be efficient, value for money and well-regulated. It should have a detailed and transparent business plan to clearly define and justify its scope and to clarify how it will be funded and we look forward to seeing further detail on this. It will require clear and robust regulation by the Pensions Authority and other bodies such as the Data Protection Commission will also have a role to play. Our members, being well-experienced in operating in a highly-regulated environment and having tried and tested infrastructure to support consumers, would be keen to continue to share the benefits of these experiences with the Department of Social Protection.”
Moyagh Murdock also said “The new Auto Enrolment pension must also co-exist with current structures which are being used by the 56% of individuals who already have a supplementary pension, either because they work for an employer who has a pension scheme or because they have put one in place themselves. The Irish pensions landscape is already extremely complicated with multiple and often overlapping products and rules and there is a risk that Auto Enrolment will add to this. The importance of simplifying the current structure was recognised in the 2020 Report of the Interdepartmental Pensions Reform and Taxation Group which made a number of recommendations and Insurance Ireland would like to see these implemented as soon as possible.
A healthy and inclusive pensions system for this country is a priority for our members as is evidenced by our recent publication of a paper on the Mitigation of the Gender Gap for Ireland, which recommends that women need access to pensions without being excluded on the basis of income thresholds or minimum hourly requirements. We would ask the Minister to play particular attention to the position of women and lower earner/part time workers in the implementation of Auto Enrolment.”