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Wednesday 26 September 2018

Rising number of people worried they won't have enough cash in retirement

A large percentage of older people rely on State pension. Stock picture
A large percentage of older people rely on State pension. Stock picture
Fiona Dillon

Fiona Dillon

An increasing number of older people are fearful they will not have enough money in their retirement, according to Age Action.

Corona Joyce, senior policy officer for the organisation, told the joint committee on employment affairs and social protection that less than half of those aged between 20 and 65 had a private pension.

Ms Joyce pointed out that a substantial percentage of older people were reliant on the State pension for the majority of their income.

"A more flexible approach to retirement ages is needed in the context of living longer and increasing pension ages. Many older workers would choose to continue working if they could," she said.

Ms Joyce also referred to the package of changes announced by the Government in January, designed to increase contributory State pension payments, particularly for those affected by rate band changes in 2012.

The new Total Contributions Approach (TCA) will calculate pensions based on all contributions made over a working career, with provision for a new 'Home Caring Credit' of up to 20 years to assist workers who took time out to raise families.

"Callers to Age Action's information line frequently express confusion as to how the new system will operate," Ms Joyce said.

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection assistant secretary Tim Duggan said the new TCA "is expected to significantly benefit many people, particularly women whose work history includes an extended period of time outside the paid workplace, while raising families or in a caring role".

"Pensioners don't need to contact the department at this juncture," he added.

The department will invite some 51,000 pensioners who were assessed under the rate bands in place since 2012 to have their pensions recalculated to determine if they qualified for a higher rate of entitlement, he said.

Invitations were expected to be issued near the end of the year, he added.

Irish Independent

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