Every year from now, more Irish people will reach the State Pension Age of 66. That Pension Age rises to age 67 in 2021 and to age 68 in 2028. The increase in the retirement age is an attempt by the government to deal with the huge burden retirement costs will place on Ireland in the coming years.
In the last Budget, the promised State Pension increase was not given. It is expected that following the next General Election, the Government, of whatever hue, will increase the State Pension Age further – to 69 in 2035 and to 70 in 2042.
The Government talks of having a policy to encourage people to make greater personal provision. Auto enrolment, which most people agree is a good proposal, is already two or more years delayed and we do not expect it to see the light of day for perhaps 5 more years.
The Pensions Authority is seeking changes to pension vehicles in order to make their oversight job easier, even if their actions forces pension scheme members into unsuitable products.
The transposition of the EU IORPS 2 Directive into Irish Law has run into a legal challenge over the Government’s refusal to grant exemptions to small and one person schemes as is allowed in all other EU countries.
To save money, Revenue wants to stop or reduce tax relief on pension contributions. This proposal would have the effect of reducing private pension coverage at a time when the government wishes to increase private provision to help reduce people’s dependence on the State.
In short, Government proposals are a mess, different proposals from different Departments of State and no joined up thinking. .
We all welcome the fact that people are living longer and enjoying a more active retirement. However, our quality of life will be determined by the amount of money we have to spend. Anyone with ambition to create a reasonable income in retirement better not rely on the Government to do much and would be wise to set up their own pension scheme as soon as possible.