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Introduction and Key Findings

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The Pensions Survey is carried out on an annual basis in the third quarter of the year, as a module of the Labour Force Survey (LFS). The first iteration of this annual data collection on pension coverage in the State commenced in Quarter 3 2018 and is now carried out on an annual basis.

This survey does not measure pensions provided through the State Social Welfare Scheme and instead relates to occupational and personal pension cover (supplementary pension coverage) only. It meets national demands for annual estimates of overall supplementary pension coverage and pension types.

It should be noted that in previous Pensions Surveys, supplementary pension coverage included only occupational pensions from one's current employment and personal pensions in current contribution. With the introduction of the annual Pensions Survey in 2018, the survey was expanded to include occupational pension coverage from previous employments (also for self-employed persons) and personal pensions where payments have been deferred or are in current draw-down mode.

The Pensions Survey data is collected directly from private households. Questions about supplementary pension coverage are asked only of persons in employment aged 20 to 69 years. Institutional households (e.g. nursing homes, barracks, boarding schools, hotels etc.) are not covered by the survey.

Show Table: Table 1.1 Pension coverage for persons in employment (ILO) aged 20 to 69 years, Q3 2018 and Q3 2019

X-axis labelOccupational pension onlyPersonal pension onlyBoth
Q3 201863.71620.3
Q3 201961.515.123.4
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  • In Quarter 3 2019, almost six in every ten (59.8%) of all workers aged between 20 and 69 years had supplementary pension coverage. This includes occupational pension coverage from current or previous employments and personal pension coverage including those where payments have been deferred for a period of time or are currently being drawn down by the pension holder. See Table 1.1.
  • Pension coverage remained lowest among the younger workers. In Quarter 3 2019, almost one fifth (19.4%) of workers aged 20 to 24 years had a pension, while 44.8% of workers aged 25 to 34 years reported having a pension. Pension coverage was greatest among workers aged 45-54 years where total pension coverage was in excess of 70% (71.8%). See Table 1.1.
  • Over half (51.0%) of self-employed persons had pension coverage in Quarter 3 2019. This includes occupational pension coverage from previous employment and also personal pensions (including personal pensions where payments have been deferred for a period of time and pensions currently in draw-down mode). See Table 2.1.
  • The results from the Quarter 3 2019 Pensions Survey show that workers are increasingly making provision for their pension in retirement from both occupational and personal pension schemes. Supplementary pension coverage (from Both occupational and personal pension schemes) of workers aged between 20 and 69 years increased by just over three percentage points when compared with the same period in 2018, with 23.4% in Quarter 3 2019 compared to 20.3% in Quarter 3 2018. Pension provision from just one source has decreased in Quarter 3 2019 when compared with Quarter 3 2018, with 61.5% of workers having Occupational pension coverage only compared with 63.7% in 2018, while 15.1% had Personal pension coverage only (16% in 2018). See Table 3.1.
  • Of those workers with an occupational pension from their current employment, over six in every ten (61.7%) identified their pension as a defined contribution pension, while 36.4% of such persons had a defined benefit pension and 1.9% had a hybrid pension. See Table 4.1.
  • For those workers with no occupational pension coverage from their current employment, more than half (53.2%) stated that their employer does not offer a pension scheme. See Table 4.2.
  • Almost one third (32.7%) of workers with personal pension provision have deferred payments for a period of time, while just 1.9% are already drawing down a personal pension. See Table 5.1.

Go to next chapter:Overall Pension Coverage