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Personal Pensions

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In Quarter 3 2021, respondents were asked not only about personal pensions in current contribution, but also personal pensions where payments had been deferred for a period of time or were already being drawn down. Over seven in ten (70.3%) personal pensions are in current contribution, with 27.3% of those in employment with personal pension coverage deferred payments for a period, while just 2.4% were already drawing down a personal pension. See Table 5.1 and Figures 5.1 and 5.2.

Show Table: Table 5.1 Persons in employment aged 20 to 69 years with personal pension coverage Q3 2020 and Q3 2021

"" "" "
Employees
Currently
paying
into
personal
pension
68.3
Have
deferred
payments
for a
period of
time
30
Already drawing
down personal
pension
1.7
"
Self employed
Currently
paying
into
personal
pension
75.3
Have
deferred
payments
for a
period of
time
20.8
Already drawing
down personal
pension
3.9
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Nearly eight in ten (78.8%) of personal pensions held by workers whose broad occupational group is Managers, directors and senior officials, are in current contribution holders, as was the case for 75.1% of persons with personal pension coverage in the Associate, professional and technical broad occupational group. See Table 5.2.

People can sometimes choose to defer payments on their personal pension scheme for a period for various reasons and can then resume payment into a pension scheme again. At an overall level in 2021, pension deferral decreased - 27.3% compared with 32.2% in 2020. In 2021, the highest level of personal pension deferral was for workers in the Information and Communication NACE economic sector (36.1%), followed by persons employed in the Transportation and storage sector (32.9%). See Table 5.2.

Show Table: Table 5.2 Persons in employment aged 20 to 69 years with personal pension coverage by NACE economic sector and broad occupational group Q3 2020 and Q3 2021

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Of workers with personal pension coverage, almost one quarter (24.1%) were in their pension scheme for 20 years or more, while 11.4% of workers who had deferred payments for a while or completely, were in their personal pension scheme for this duration. See Table 5.3.

Show Table: Table 5.3 Persons in current employment with personal pension coverage by length of time in pension scheme, Q3 2021

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Further analysis of personal pensions in current contribution by age group shows that nearly half (46.0%) of personal pension holders in current contribution who are aged between 55 and 69 years have been in their pension scheme for 20 years or more, while nearly three in ten (28.4%) of personal pension holders (who are making current contributions to their pension) aged 45 to 54 years were in their pension scheme for this duration. See Table 5.4.

Just over one third (34.5%) of 35 to 44 years who are currently contributing to a personal pension or PRSA, have been a member of their pension scheme for 5 years or less, while just one in five (19.8%) have been in their pension scheme for between 5 and 9 years. See Table 5.4.

Show Table: Table 5.4 Persons in current employment with personal pensions in current contribution by length of time in pension scheme and age group, Q3 2021

In 2021, the data collection was expanded to also include persons not in current employment, but who have had been previous employed on a full-time or part-time basis. The definitions used for employment and unemployment in this survey are based on International Labour Organisation (ILO) concepts and definitions. More information is available on the ILO labour force classification in the Background Notes.

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For persons not in current employment (but with previous employments), over three in ten (31.4%) are making current contributions to their personal pensions, while 31.1% have deferred payments for a while or completely, and a further 37.5% are already drawing down their personal pension. Almost half (49.8%) of persons aged 55 to 69 not in current employment (but previously employed), are already drawing down their pension. See Table 5.5.

Show Table: Table 5.5 Persons not in current employment (ILO) who have personal pension cover, Q3 2021

Over four in ten (42.8%) of personal pension holders not in current employment but were previously employed, who are still currently contributing to their pension, are in the scheme for 20 years or more. Nearly one quarter (24.8%) who have deferred payments for a while or completely, were in their pension scheme for 5 to 9 years, and 18.3% were in their scheme for 20 years or more. See Table 5.6.

Show Table: Table 5.6 Persons not in current employment with personal pension coverage by length of time in pension scheme, Q3 2021

Go to next chapter: Persons without Pension Coverage