OECD highlights lack of long-term pension planning in Ireland

Ireland generally compares favourably to other OECD nations

OECD, Pensions at a glance, Ireland, planning, poverty, older people

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A new report has highlighted the lack of long-term planning on pensions in Ireland.

The OECD Pensions at a Glance 2015 says pensions in many countries in the future may be much less generous than today - with many people at serious risk of pensioner poverty.

Generally, Ireland compares favourably to other OECD nations in the study.

The Irish poverty rate among current pensioners stands at about 7% - this is compared to the UK at 13%, Australia 36% and Korea 50%.

"The economic recovery remains sluggish in most OECD countries and, as a consequence, pension contributions remain low while fiscal pressure adds urgency to reforming public pension systems", it says.

"Going forward, the likely protracted uncertainty in financial markets, low returns and record-low interest rates cast doubts on the ability of defined-contribution systems and annuity schemes to deliver adequate pensions".

It adds that such challenges are compounded by population ageing, which is accelerating in many countries.

But it says that about half of OECD countries have taken measures to improve the financial sustainability of their pension systems over the past two years, by raising taxes and contribution rates in defined-benefit systems.

Gerry Moriarty is director of policy with the Irish Association of Pension Funds.

He says the report highlights the lack of any mandatory pension scheme here despite government promises.

"The government had set out a number of times that they were going to set out some form of mandatory saving system - whether that's on a auto-enrolment basis which they have in the UK, where you're automatically put into a pension scheme (and) you've the option of opting out" he told Newstalk Breakfast.

"And the language they use is this is supposed to be implemented when economic conditions are better - and I think that is one of the disappointing things is that there's been very little action on this, and we just seem to produce report after report without actually doing anything" he added.