| 6.5°C Dublin

Half of workers have no pension

NEARLY half of the working population in Ireland has no pension, figures have revealed. Almost 900,000 people -- or nearly one in every two people working in the country -- have made no provision for their retirement, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Only 941,000 people, or 51pc of the country's 1.8 million workforce, could afford a pension in 2009, which compares to 1.1 million at the start of 2008.

This means that around 166,000 people were forced to stop saving for their old age.

Data from the Quarterly National Household Survey suggests that the huge drop was mostly the result of a shrinking workforce and emigration.

The State's target is to have as many as 70pc of working adults aged between 30 and 65 contributing towards their pension -- a far higher number than is currently the case.

Young people were the age group most likely not to have a pension -- just one in five between the ages of 20 and 24 could afford to set aside money for the end of their working life.

In comparison, three in five men and women between the ages of 45 and 64 had made financial plans for their retirement.

The CSO also noted that the number of people who hoped to get help from the State towards their retirement had increased.

Around 25pc of employed adults expect the State contributory pension to be their main source of income when they retire -- up from 20pc at the height of the boom in 2005.