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Overall Pension Coverage

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Of persons in employment in Quarter 3 2020, 64.7% had pension coverage, an increase of almost five percentage points on the same period in 2019. This includes occupational pension provision from current and previous employments, as well as personal pension coverage where payments have been deferred for a while or are currently being drawn down. The State Pension is excluded for the purposes of this survey. See Table 2.1.

Table 2.1 Pension coverage in the State for persons in employment (ILO) aged 20 to 69 years Q3 2019 and Q3 2020

Supplementary pension coverage of males increased by nearly seven percentage points - 67.1% in 2020 versus 60.7% in 2019 – compared with an increase of more than three percentage points for females (61.9% in 2020 compared with 58.7% in 2019). See Table 2.1.

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Pension coverage has increased for all age groups, when compared to the third quarter of 2019, but pension coverage in 2020 has followed the same trend as in 2019 where pension coverage was lowest among younger workers. Nearly one quarter (24.4%) of workers in the 20 to 24 years age group had pension coverage, while almost half (49.9%) of workers in the 25 to 34 years age cohort had supplementary pension coverage in Quarter 3 2020. See Table 2.1.

Supplementary pension coverage increases with age. Over seven in ten (70.8%) of workers aged 35 to 44 years have pension coverage, while over three quarters (76.8%) of persons aged 45 to 54 years and 72.7% of persons aged 55 to 69 years had supplementary pension coverage in the third quarter of 2020. See Table 2.1.

Of workers who are self-employed and/or assisting relative in Quarter 3 2020, 55.2% had supplementary pension coverage. 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). Two thirds (66.3%) of employees aged 20 to 69 years, had supplementary pension coverage. See Table 2.1.

Over seven in every ten (70.3%) of full-time workers have pension coverage, compared with just four in ten (40.1%) of part-time workers. These results represent persons in employment and do not cover persons who are not in employment or may have been laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. See Table 2.1.

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The NACE economic sector with the highest pension coverage in Quarter 3 2019 was Public administration and defence; compulsory social security (95.8%). During the COVID-19 pandemic, persons in this sector would have largely remained in employment, albeit perhaps remote working in some cases. By comparison, just over one fifth (21.1%) of persons working in the Accommodation and food service activities sector had pension coverage in Quarter 3 2020. See Table 2.2.

Analysis of pension coverage by broad occupational groups shows that workers whose occupation was classified as Professionals had the highest pension coverage rate (86.4%), followed by Associate professional and technical (75.9%) and Managers, directors and senior officials (69.2%). Just over one third (34.0%) of workers whose broad occupational group was Sales and customer service, had pension coverage. See Table 2.2 and Figure 2.1.

Table 2.2 Pension coverage for persons in employment (ILO) aged 20 to 69 years by NACE economic sector and broad occupational group Q3 2019 and Q3 2020

Managers, directors and senior officialsProfessionals Associate professional and technicalAdministrative and secretarialSkilled trades Caring, leisure and other servicesSales and customer service Process, plant and machine operativesElementary
Pension Coverage 202069.286.475.967.95446.33455.831.9
Note that the year label on Figure 2.1 was amended from 2019 to 2020 on 18 August 2021.

Go to next chapter: Type of Pension Coverage