Irish Government Urges Worker-Employer Pension Contact

March 14, 2007 ( - With recent research showing that just over half of Irish workers don't have retirement plan access in the workplace, the Irish government is stepping up pressure on employers to change that.

A news release from the Ireland Pensions Board, the country’s pension regulator, said that of the 51% workers without an employer pension, a scant 6% had asked their company about starting a pension program. The Pensions Board is celebrating National Pensions Action Week this week.

Brendan Kennedy, Chief Executive, Pensions Board, urged Irish workers to use the pension celebration as a reason to talk to their employer about kicking off a workplace plan.

“By law your employer must provide you with some form of access to a pension, whether you are in full-time, part-time, temporary, contract or casual employment,” Kennedy said in the news release. “This requirement is an important part in our drive to increase private pension coverage in Ireland. The Pensions Board enforces this mandatory access requirement and we regard non-compliance by employers as a serious matter”.

Kennedy continued: “From an employer’s perspective, having a good pension scheme in place is a good way of attracting, rewarding and retaining quality staff. The company can benefit by gaining a reputation and respect as a good employer with a workforce that feels valued.”

Pension Rollovers

In a separate statement , Kennedy called on Irish citizens with a Special Savings Incentive Account (SSIA) to roll over their SSIA balance into a pension plan. The Pensions Board offers online calculators to help workers figure out the impact of their SSIA balance on a pension plan.

“A pension is a more profitable scheme than an SSIA, but it is simply conducted over a longer term. The Pensions Board is confident that many SSIA holders will realize that 2007 is the year that they can kick-start their pension with a significant lump sum from their SSIA savings,” said Kennedy, in the SSIA statement.