Fianna Fáil promise referendum to protect to workers' pensions
Published 24/02/2016 | 02:30
Fianna Fáil has pledged to hold a referendum to give constitutional protection to workers' pensions.
The party's finance spokesperson Michael McGrath said the vote, if passed, will prevent future governments from raiding pensions in times of recession.
Mr McGrath said the referendum would be held within 12 months if his party is in the new government.
The Cork South Central TD made the pledge as the party announced its pension proposals.
Among the measures is the introduction of an auto-enrolment pensions contribution scheme.
The scheme would allow workers to opt out each 12-month period.
Mr McGrath said that 60pc of private sector workers don't have an occupational pension and that increasing pension cover will be a "major challenge" for the State in the years to come .
"Pension provision is an issue which should concern everyone in society, not just those who are retired or nearing retirement age," Mr McGrath said.
"It is our belief that Ireland must aspire to delivering a comfortable standard of living for retirees.
"This will involve building on the existing strengths of the pension system and making necessary reforms to improve its effectiveness," he added.
Mr McGrath added that pensioners have taken "very significant" cuts to their income under the Fine Gael/Labour government.