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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Pension Coverage

Quarter 3 2018

Pension coverage for persons in employment (ILO) aged 20 to 69 years
 Q4 20151Q3 20181Q3 20182
 %%%
State46.747.156.3
 
Sex
Male47.246.757.1
Female46.247.655.4
1 Includes only occupational pensions from current employment and personal pensions in current contribution.
2 Includes occupational pension coverage from current and previous employments, and personal pensions, including deferred pensions and pensions in draw-down mode.
 

56% of persons in employment have pension coverage

Figure 1 Percentage of persons aged 20 - 69 in employment with a pension by type of pension
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A Pensions survey of workers aged 20 to 69 years was included in the Labour Force Survey (LFS) in the third quarter (July - September) of 2018. This report presents the results of this survey.

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.

Summary of main results

  • In Quarter 3 2018, more than half (56.3%) 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 headline table.
  • Pension coverage remained lowest among the younger workers. In Quarter 3 2018, just one in six (16.3%) of workers aged 20 to 24 years had a pension while just over four out of every ten (41.5%) 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% (70.9%). See table 1.
  • Approximately half (50.7%) of self-employed persons had pension coverage in Quarter 3 2018. 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 also, pensions currently in draw-down mode. See table 1.
  • The results from the Quarter 3 2018 Pensions survey show that workers are increasingly making provision for their pension in retirement from both occupational and personal pensions schemes. Over one fifth (20.3%) of workers aged between 20 and 69 years had supplementary pension coverage from both occupational and personal pension schemes, compared with just 8.6% in Quarter 4 2015. Pension provision from just one source has decreased when compared with Quarter 4 2015 - 63.7% of workers had occupational pension coverage only, compared with 73.2% in 2015, while 16% had only personal pension provision (18.2% in 2015). See table 2(a) and figure 1.
  • Of those workers with an occupational pension from their current employment, 57.1% identified their pension as a defined contribution pension while 42.9% of such persons had a defined benefit pension. See table 3 and figure 2.
  • For those workers with no occupational pension coverage from their current employment, more than half (54.2%) stated that their employer does not offer a pension scheme. See table 4 and figure 3.
  • One third (33.7%) of workers with personal pension provision have deferred payments for a period of time, while just 2.2% are already drawing down a personal pension. See table 5 and figure 4.

Users should note that the survey instrument used to carry out the Pensions survey has changed since the survey was last carried out in Quarter 4 2015, when it was carried out as a module of the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS). The Labour Force Survey (LFS) has now replaced the QNHS. With this change, surveys previously carried out as modules of the QNHS, are now carried out for the most part in the General Household Survey (GHS) or included in some or all waves of the LFS. This Pensions survey was included in the LFS in Quarter 3 2018. Further information is available in the Background Notes.

It should be noted that in previous Pensions surveys, supplementary pension coverage covered only occupational pensions from one's current employment and personal pensions in current contribution. In Quarter 3 2018, the Pensions survey was expanded to include occupational pension coverage from previous employments (also for self-employed persons) and personal pensions where payments had been deferred or were already being drawn down. The headline table shows the difference between supplementary pension coverage as surveyed in Quarter 4 2015, and in the most recent survey in Quarter 3 2018.

Rates of pension cover

Over half of all workers (56.3%) had pension coverage in Quarter 3 2018. This includes occupational pension provision from current and previous employments, and personal pension coverage where payments have been deferred for a while, or are currently being drawn down. The State social welfare pension is excluded for the purposes of this survey. When the scope is narrowed to only occupational pension coverage from current employment and personal pension in current contribution, as in Quarter 4 2015, supplementary pension coverage for workers aged 20 to 69 years is 47.1%. See headline table and table 1. 

  • In Quarter 3 2018, pension coverage for males was 57.1% and for females was 55.4%. See table 1.
  • Pension coverage was lowest among younger workers. One in six (16.3%) of workers in the 20 to 24 years age group had pension coverage, while over four out of every ten (41.5%) of workers in the 25 to 34 years age cohort had supplementary pension coverage in Quarter 3 2018. See table 1.
  • Supplementary pension coverage increases with age. Over two thirds and upwards of workers aged 45 to 69 years have supplementary pension coverage - 70.9% of workers in the 45 to 54 years age group have pension coverage, while 68.2% of workers aged between 55 and 69 have made pension provision for retirement. See table 1.
  • Six out of every ten (61.4%) of full-time workers have pension coverage, compared with just 36% of part-time workers. See table 1.
  • The NACE economic sectors with the highest pension coverage in Quarter 3 2018 was in the Public administration and defence; compulsory social security sector (92.2%), followed by the Financial, insurance and real estate activities (85.9%) and Education (80.5%) sectors. See table 1.
  • Workers whose occupation was classified as Professionals had the highest pension coverage rate (80%) among occupational groups, followed by Managers, directors and senior officials (69.1%) and Associate professional and technical (68.5%). See table 1.

Workers with the highest rate of pension cover in each classification group in Quarter 3 2018 were:

  • Workers aged between 45 and 54 years (70.9%) - compared to workers aged between 20 and 24 years (16.3%);
  • Irish nationals (59.6%) - compared to non-Irish nationals (36.1%);
  • Employees (57.3%) - compared to self-employed (50.7%);
  • Full-time workers (61.4%) - compared to part-time workers (36%);
  • Workers employed in the Public administration and defence; compulsory social security sector (92.2%) - compared to workers employed in the Accommodation and food service activities sector (15.9%);
  • Workers whose occupation was classified as Professional (80%) - compared to workers whose occupation is classified as Elementary (26.7%).
Table 1 Pension coverage in the State for persons in employment (ILO) aged 20 to 69 years, 2008 - 2018
% of persons aged 20 to 69 in employment with a pension
  Q1 2008Q4 2009Q4 2015Q3 20181Q3 20182
State 53.651.246.747.156.3
 
Sex
Male 56.353.147.246.757.1
Female 50.049.046.247.655.4
 
Age group
20-24  27.818.614.115.516.3
25-34  48.949.436.137.141.5
35-44  61.157.755.354.462.6
45-54  65.560.554.458.770.9
55-69  55.248.749.350.268.2
 
20-293 36.632.622.122.725.0
30-653 60.657.552.153.864.2
 
Nationality
Irish nationals 53.654.849.449.959.6
Non-Irish nationals 28.228.129.230.036.1
 
ILO Employment Status
Self employed and Assisting relative 45.836.429.928.450.7
Employee  55.554.550.250.557.3
 
Hours of work
Full-time 58.559.655.053.361.4
Part-time 31.723.722.322.736.0
 
NACE Economic Sector
AAgriculture, forestry and fishing44.924.128.528.145.2
B-EIndustry61.258.152.155.762.6
FConstruction47.544.034.137.249.5
GWholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles36.229.626.527.437.8
HTransportation and storage 53.354.742.655.464.8
IAccommodation and food service activities22.717.313.19.215.9
JInformation and communication63.558.358.951.463.1
K-LFinancial, insurance and real estate activities80.582.875.277.485.9
MProfessional, scientific and technical activities56.061.549.545.962.0
NAdministrative and support service activities37.929.124.926.238.8
OPublic administration and defence; compulsory social security 93.693.389.189.992.2
PEducation76.175.072.675.380.5
QHuman health and social work activities56.757.358.554.862.1
R-UOther NACE activities 30.227.023.322.933.1
 
Broad occupational group
1.Managers, directors and senior officials65.463.953.153.369.1
2.Professionals 75.377.174.872.680.0
3.Associate professional and technical64.862.660.059.168.5
4.Administrative and secretarial61.362.257.153.162.6
5.Skilled trades 47.439.533.130.841.6
6.Caring, leisure and other services36.338.832.332.440.2
7.Sales and customer service 28.924.217.819.126.9
8.Process, plant and machine operatives50.440.637.643.854.2
9.Elementary33.228.522.321.226.7
Other/Not stated ***35.447.3
1 Includes only occupational pensions form current employment and personal pensions in current contribution.
2 Includes occupational pension coverage from current/previous employments and personal pensions, including deferred pensions/in draw down mode.
3 These age categories relate to the targets set by the National Pensions Policy Initiative.
* Sample occurrence too small for estimation.
Data may be subject to sampling or other survey errors, which are greater in respect of smaller values or estimates of change.

Types of pension cover

Of those workers who had a pension in Quarter 3 2018, almost two thirds (63.7%) had only occupational pension coverage (from current or previous employments), 16% had personal pension coverage only while over one fifth (20.3%) had both types of pension provision for their retirement. Of workers with pension provision in the Professionals occupational group, almost one quarter (24.6%) had both occupational and personal pension coverage, while 23% of persons with pensions in the Managers, directors and senior officials (23%) occupational group, had both types of pension. The Professional, scientific and technical activities NACE economic sector had the greatest proportion of workers (29%) with pension coverage from both occupational and personal pension, followed by the Information and communication sector (26.2%). See table 2(a) and figure 1.

Occupational pensions

In Quarter 3 2018, the NACE economic sectors with the highest rate of occupational pension cover were Public administration and defence; compulsory social security (78.1%), followed by Financial, Insurance and real estate activities (75.4%) and Education (74.4%). See table 2(a).

Table 2(a) Persons in employment (ILO) aged 20 to 69 years with a pension classified by type of pension, Q4 20151 and Q3 20182
% of persons aged 20 to 69 in employment with a pension
 Pension type
Occupational pension only Personal pension only Both occupational and personal pension Total
Q4 2015Q3 2018 Q4 2015Q3 2018 Q4 2015Q3 2018  
State73.263.7 18.216.0 8.620.3 100.0
 
Sex
Male67.657.5 24.520.6 7.921.8 100.0
Female79.871.1 10.810.3 9.418.5 100.0
 
Age group
20-24 [89.7][89.2] [5.2][10.8] [5.1][0.0] 100.0
25-34 84.975.6 8.27.9 6.916.5 100.0
35-44 75.965.9 15.912.7 8.221.3 100.0
45-54 67.059.3 22.117.6 10.923.0 100.0
55-69 62.753.1 29.326.0 8.020.9 100.0
 
Nationality
Irish nationals73.263.6 18.116.1 8.720.3 100.0
Non-Irish nationals72.264.3 20.114.7 7.720.9 100.0
 
ILO employment status
Self employed and assisting relative1.417.4 98.163.3 0.519.3 100.0
Employee82.071.0 8.48.5 9.620.5 100.0
 
Hours of work
Full-time73.364.0 17.915.1 8.721.0 100.0
Part-time71.761.8 20.722.1 7.616.2 100.0
 
NACE economic sector
AAgriculture, forestry and fishing12.119.1 85.871.2 2.19.7 100.0
B-E.Industry78.971.7 13.010.0 8.118.3 100.0
FConstruction46.044.5 47.237.5 6.818.1 100.0
GWholesale and retail trade; repair of motor  
 vehicles and motorcycles65.654.2 29.627.5 4.918.3 100.0
HTransportation and storage 69.961.3 20.518.1 9.620.6 100.0
IAccommodation and food service activities52.737.5 43.646.9 3.715.6 100.0
JInformation and communication74.763.7 15.89.7 9.626.6 100.0
K-L.Financial, insurance and real estate activities78.975.4 11.06.2 10.118.4 100.0
MProfessional, scientific and technical activities53.347.0 42.324.0 4.429.0 100.0
NAdministrative and support service activities66.956.4 31.527.1 1.616.5 100.0
OPublic administration and defence; compulsory  
 social security90.678.1 0.92.4 8.419.5 100.0
PEducation84.074.4 3.33.8 12.721.8 100.0
QHuman health and social work activities81.370.8 7.37.9 11.421.2 100.0
R-U.Other NACE activities 53.956.0 41.423.9 4.820.1 100.0
 
Broad occupational group
1.Managers, directors and senior officials57.946.5 35.130.5 7.023.0 100.0
2.Professionals 76.668.0 11.17.4 12.324.6 100.0
3.Associate professional and technical75.270.9 17.09.4 7.819.7 100.0
4.Administrative and secretarial84.173.8 7.99.8 8.016.3 100.0
5.Skilled trades 48.438.3 45.643.9 6.017.8 100.0
6.Caring, leisure and other services83.674.0 10.811.5 5.614.5 100.0
7.Sales and customer service 72.162.6 20.121.2 7.816.2 100.0
8.Process, plant and machine operatives72.165.1 21.717.1 6.117.8 100.0
9.Elementary86.267.0 7.715.5 6.217.6 100.0
 Other/Not stated** ** ** *
1 Includes only occupational pensions from current employment and personal pensions in current contribution.
2 Includes occupational pensions from current/previous employments and personal pensions, including deferred pensions and pensions in draw-down mode.
Figures in parentheses [ ] indicate percentages based on small numbers, and are, therefore, subject to a wide margin of error.
* Sample occurrence too small for estimation.
Note 1: Data are subject to sampling and other survey errors, which are relatively greater in respect of smaller values.
Table 2(b) Pension coverage of persons in employment1 by type of pension, household composition and deprivation quintile, Q3 2018
% persons in employment with pension coverage
 Occupational pension2 onlyPersonal pension3 onlyBothTotal
State63.716.020.3100.0
Household composition
 1 adult no dependent children63.417.019.6100.0
 2 adults no dependent children60.017.822.2100.0
 3 adults no dependent children64.516.818.7100.0
 1 adult dependent children63.914.721.5100.0
 2 adults dependent children65.813.720.6100.0
 3 adults dependent children60.420.619.0100.0
Deprivation quintile
 First quintile - very disadvantaged[63.0][18.8][18.2]100.0
 Second quintile - disadvantaged55.321.922.8100.0
 Third quintile - average64.718.017.3100.0
 Fourth quintile - affluent65.013.521.5100.0
 Fifth quintile - very affluent67.311.920.8100.0
1 Persons in employment (ILO) aged 20 to 69 years.
2 Includes occupational pensions from current and previous employments.
3 Includes personal pensions in current contribution, or have payments deferred for a period, or are already in draw-down mode.
Figures in parentheses [ ] indicate percentages based on small numbers, and are, therefore, subject to a wide margin of error.
Note 1: Data are subject to sampling and other survey errors, which are relatively greater in respect of smaller values.

Type of occupational pension

The proportion of workers with an occupational pension from their current employment who identified their pension as a ‘defined contribution’ pension was 57.1% and 42.9% of workers had a 'defined benefit' occupational pension from their current job. Rates of 'defined benefit' occupational pension cover is highest for the older age groups - 58% of females and 54.9% of males in the 55 to 69 years age group have 'defined benefit' occupational pension cover in their current employment. See table 3 and figure 2.

Self-employed persons and workers who did not have an occupational pension scheme with their current employer, were asked if they had an occupational pension from a previous employment. Over two thirds of such pensions were 'defined contribution' and the remaining one third were 'defined benefit' occupational pension coverage from previous employment. See table 3 and figure 2.

Defined BenefitDefined Contribution
Employees with an occupational pension from their current employment42.957.1
Employees with an occupational pension from a previous employment32.467.6
Self-employed persons with an occupational pension from a previous employment32.767.3
Table 3 Persons with occupational pension coverage, classified by pension type, Q3 2018
% of persons aged 20 to 69 in employment with occupational pension coverage
 Employees with occupational pension from their current employment Employees with occupational pension, only from a previous employment Self-employed persons with occupational pension from a previous employment
Sex/Age GroupDefined BenefitDefined ContributionTotal Defined BenefitDefined ContributionTotal Defined BenefitDefined ContributionTotal
State 42.957.1100.0 32.467.6100.0 32.767.3100.0
 
Male
Age Group
20-24*** *** ***
25-3432.367.7100.0 27.272.8100.0 0.0100.0100.0
35-4429.970.1100.0 20.679.4100.0 15.184.9100.0
45-5440.959.1100.0 26.074.0100.0 29.270.8100.0
55-6954.945.1100.0 43.356.7100.0 50.249.8100.0
Total37.262.8100.0 28.271.8100.0 33.366.7100.0
Female
 Age Group
20-24*** *** ***
25-3435.764.3100.0 14.285.8100.0 0.0100.0100.0
35-4447.352.7100.0 38.062.0100.0 21.278.8100.0
45-5456.243.8100.0 32.267.8100.0 31.468.6100.0
55-6958.042.0100.0 60.939.1100.0 49.750.3100.0
 Total48.451.6100.0 37.762.3100.0 31.168.9100.0
* Sample occurrence too small for estimation.
Note 1: Data are subject to sampling and other survey errors, which are relatively greater in respect of smaller values.
 

Employees without an occupational pension

Over half of employees (54.2%) without an occupational pension said that their employer did not offer a pension scheme, while 27.3% had chosen not to join their employer's pension scheme. A further 11.9% of employees without an occupational pension were not eligible to join their employer’s occupational pension scheme. See table 4 and figure 3.

There were differences in the availability of pension schemes depending on the size of the organisation where the employee was working. Nearly two thirds (64.5%) of all workers working in an organisation with ten persons or less, reported that their employer did not offer a pension scheme. This compares with 43.6% for persons who worked in organisations employing 250 to 500 people. See table 4.

Nearly six out of every ten (59.8%) of part-time workers reported that their employer did not offer a pension scheme, compared with 51.8% of full-time workers. The most common sectors where the employer did not offer a pension scheme for employees were the Caring, leisure and other services (67%) and Skilled trades (61.1%) occupational groups. See table 4.

Table 4 Employees aged 20 to 69 years who do not have an occupational pension1 classified by reasons for not having an occupational pension, Q3 2018
% employees aged 20 to 69 years who do not have an occupational pension
 Employer does not offer a company pension schemeHave chosen not to join employer's pension schemeNot eligible to join employer's pension schemeNot statedTotal
State54.227.311.96.5100.0
 
Sex
Male52.827.712.66.9100.0
Female55.727.011.26.1100.0
 
Age group
20 - 2443.124.527.05.3100.0
25 - 3454.930.28.86.1100.0
35 - 4456.028.97.47.7100.0
45 - 5460.524.08.66.8100.0
55 - 6958.724.89.76.7100.0
 
Nationality
Irish nationals54.527.212.95.4100.0
Non-Irish nationals53.228.08.310.5100.0
 
Hours or work
Full-time job51.830.910.86.6100.0
Part-time job59.819.314.56.4100.0
 
NACE economic sector
A. Agriculture, forestry and fishing[36.4][44.1][0.0][19.5]100.0
B-E.Industry44.037.59.68.9100.0
F.Construction60.425.510.14.0100.0
G.Wholesale & Retail trade; Repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles58.727.28.95.3100.0
H.Transportation and Storage50.426.712.610.3100.0
I.Accommodation & food service activities56.826.412.04.8100.0
J.Information & communication41.535.019.54.0100.0
K-L.Financial,insurance and real estate activities48.137.514.30100.0
M.Professional, scientific and technical activities43.929.721.35.0100.0
N.Administrative and support service activities54.822.512.310.4100.0
O.Public administration and defence; compulsory social security[49.4][30.3][14.1][6.2]100.0
P.Education52.619.023.64.7100.0
Q.Human health and social work activities58.223.111.67.1100.0
R-U.Other NACE activities68.816.66.87.8100.0
 
Broad occupational group
1.Managers, directors and senior officials52.539.42.35.8100.0
2.Professionals39.737.117.55.7100.0
3.Associate professional and technical46.833.315.54.3100.0
4.Administrative and secretarial48.527.618.75.2100.0
5.Skilled trades61.124.47.17.4100.0
6.Caring, leisure and other services67.019.17.76.2100.0
7.Sales and customer service57.224.712.45.7100.0
8.Process, plant and machine operatives55.227.29.97.7100.0
9.Elementary55.224.411.68.7100.0
 Other/not stated*****
1 From current employment.
Figures in parentheses [ ] indicate percentages based on small numbers, and are, therefore, subject to a wide margin of error.
* Sample occurrence too small for estimation.
Note 1: Data are subject to sampling and other survey errors, which are relatively greater in respect of smaller values.
X-axis labelMaleFemale
No pension scheme available52.855.7
Have chosen not to join27.727
Not eligible to join12.611.2
Not stated6.96.1

Personal pensions

In Quarter 3 2018, respondents were asked not only about personal pensions in current contribution, as was the case when the survey was last carried out in 2015. They were also asked if they had a personal pension where payments had been deferred for a period, or were already being drawn down.

Over one third (33.7%) of workers with personal pension coverage, had deferred payments for a period, almost two thirds (64%) were in current contribution, while just 2.2% were already being drawn down by the pension holder. See table 5 and figure 4.

Table 5 Persons in employment aged 20 to 69 years with personal pension coverage, Q3 2018
% persons aged 20 to 69 in employment with personal pension
 Currently paying into personal pensionHave deferred payments for a period of timeAlready drawing down personal pensionTotal
State64.033.72.2100.0
 
Sex    
Male65.632.02.4100.0
Female61.236.82.0100.0
 
Age group
20 - 24****
25 - 3472.727.30.0100.0
35 - 4464.735.30.0100.0
45 - 5464.834.30.9100.0
55 - 6959.033.77.4100.0
 
Nationality
Irish nationals64.133.52.4100.0
Non-Irish nationals62.936.11.0100.0
 
ILO employment status
Self employed and assisting Relative67.828.93.3100.0
Employee62.335.91.8100.0
 
Hours or work    
Full-time job67.131.71.3100.0
Part-time job44.547.18.4100.0
 
NACE economic sector
A. Agriculture, forestry and fishing68.826.74.5100.0
B-E.Industry66.433.00.7100.0
F.Construction62.336.51.2100.0
G.Wholesale & Retail trade; Repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles55.041.63.4100.0
H.Transportation and Storage64.830.94.3100.0
I.Accommodation & food service activities58.939.71.3100.0
J.Information & communication64.135.20.8100.0
K-L.Financial,insurance and real estate activities64.335.00.6100.0
M.Professional, scientific and technical activities71.127.01.8100.0
N.Administrative and support service activities53.139.37.6100.0
O.Public administration and defence; compulsory social security67.332.00.6100.0
P.Education66.532.31.1100.0
Q.Human health and social work activities67.330.02.7100.0
R-U.Other NACE activities51.246.12.7100.0
  
Broad occupational group
1.Managers, directors and senior officials67.530.81.7100.0
2.Professionals67.031.61.4100.0
3.Associate professional and technical66.932.40.8100.0
4.Administrative and secretarial56.640.03.4100.0
5.Skilled trades67.430.02.6100.0
6.Caring, leisure and other services46.049.54.5100.0
7.Sales and customer service43.552.93.6100.0
8.Process, plant and machine operatives67.827.54.7100.0
9.Elementary55.341.13.6100.0
 Other/not stated****
* Sample occurrence too small for estimation.
Note 1: Data are subject to sampling and other survey errors, which are relatively greater in respect of smaller values.
X-axis labelMaleFemale
In current contribution65.661.2
Deferred payments for a period3236.8
Already in draw-down mode2.42
Annex 1 Unweighted sample of persons in employment (ILO) aged 20 to 69 years, 2008 - 2018
 Q1 2008Q4 2009Q4 2015Q3 2018
State5,8555,0176,3667,373
 
Sex
Male2,6782,1872,8503,459
Female3,1772,8303,5163,914
 
Age group
20-24 328252228238
25-34 1,3061,4341,2941,183
35-44 1,7071,4681,9212,153
45-54 1,4941,1501,6702,055
55-69 1,0207131,2531,744
 
20-291928872665689
30-6514,8494,1035,5876,510
 
Nationality
Irish nationals5,2414,4055,6036,500
Non-Irish nationals614612763873
 
ILO employment status
Self employed and assisting relative1,2198501,1121,232
Employee 4,6364,1675,2546,141
 
Hours of work
Full-time4,4513,7014,6125,722
Part-time1,4041,3161,7541,651
 
NACE Economic Sector
AAgriculture, forestry and fishing386230332337
B-EIndustry746600720833
FConstruction471283288395
GWholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles750634815853
HTransportation and storage 246211265350
IAccommodation and food service activities312338396434
JInformation and communication146180265387
K-LFinancial, insurance and real estate activities277251333346
MProfessional, scientific and technical activities300239378446
NAdministrative and support service activities242176226327
OPublic administration and defence; compulsory social security358300359420
PEducation549509649724
QHuman health and social work activities7837909991,115
R-UOther NACE activities 289276341406
 
Broad occupational group
1.Managers, directors and senior officials382349514686
2.Professionals 1,0449961,2761,659
3.Associate professional and technical557491809902
4.Administrative and secretarial843724789836
5.Skilled trades 1,023711861939
6.Caring, leisure and other services507490630675
7.Sales and customer service 411381453499
8.Process, plant and machine operatives420294412521
9.Elementary656571605634
 Other/Not stated12101722
1 These age categories relate to the targets set by the National Pensions Policy Initiative.

Background Notes

Purpose of Survey

A module on pensions was included in the Labour Force Survey (LFS) in the third quarter of 2018. The LFS replaced the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) at the beginning of Quarter 3 2017.  The purpose of the survey is the production of quarterly labour force estimates and occasional reports on special social topics. The survey meets the requirements of Council Regulation (EC) No. 577/98, adopted in March 1998, which requires the introduction of quarterly labour force surveys in EU member states.

The introduction of the new LFS is part of a wider Household Survey Development (HSD) modernisation project. With this change, surveys previously carried out as modules of the QNHS, are now carried out for the most part in the General Household Survey (GHS) or included in some or all waves of the LFS.

A pensions module was previously carried out in Quarter 4 2015 and also in Quarter 4 2009 as a module of the QNHS. In 2009, the QNHS moved from seasonal to calendar quarters and the Quarter 4 2009 pensions module was conducted from October to December 2009. Questions on pension provision were also included in the QNHS in 2005, 2007 and 2008 when the QNHS was carried out on a seasonal quarter basis. Questions on pension provision were included in the QNHS in the three months from December to February 2005, 2007 and 2008.  A module on pensions was also included in the three months from September to November 2005.

Questionnaire Design

The Pensions Survey was included in the Quarter 3 LFS in 2018.

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 should be noted that in previous Pensions surveys, supplementary pension coverage covered only occupational pensions from one's current employment and personal pensions in current contribution. In the Pensions survey carried out 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 headline table shows the difference between supplementary pension coverage as surveyed in Quarter 4 2015, and in the most recent survey in 2018.

Reference Period

The Pensions survey was carried out in the three months from July to September (Quarter 3) in 2018. The questionnaire asked questions about supplementary pension coverage provisions of persons in employment aged 20 to 69 years.

Data Collection

The LFS is conducted using mixed mode data collection with the introduction of Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI). As with the QNHS, information is collected from each sample household over 5 successive quarters or Waves. However, in the LFS, the first interview is conducted by a team of face-to-face interviewers using Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI). The four follow-up interviews are conducted using CATI from a dedicated call centre, where householders have agreed to conduct a telephone interview, and are conducted using face-to-face interviews where householders have not agreed to conduct a telephone interview.

The Pensions survey was asked of persons in employment aged 20 to 69 years, in all waves of the LFS, in Quarter 3 2018.

Sample Design

A new sample based on the 2011 Census of Population was selected for the LFS and this was introduced incrementally from Q1 2016. The sample is stratified using administrative county and the Pobal HP (Haase and Pratschke) Deprivation Index. A two-stage sample design is used. In the first stage 1,300 blocks are selected using Probability Proportional to Size (PPS) sampling. In the second stage households are selected using Simple Random Sampling (SRS). This ensures each household in the sample frame has an equal probability of selection.

To account for the additional attrition resulting from the introduction of mixed mode data collection, the LFS sample has been increased incrementally from Q3 2017. An additional 1,300 households have been included in Wave 1 for each quarter up to Q3 2018 and this has resulted in a total sample of 32,500 from Q3 2018 onwards. The actual achieved sample varies over time depending on the level of response.

Households are asked to take part in the survey for five consecutive quarters and are then replaced by other households in the same block. Thus, one fifth of the households in the survey are replaced each quarter and the QNHS/LFS sample involves an overlap of 80% between consecutive quarters and 20% between the same quarter in consecutive years. It is important to note that there is no overlap in sample between the QNHS and the LFS.

The survey results are weighted to agree with population estimates broken down by age, sex and region and are also calibrated to nationality control totals. The LFS results also contain a non-response adjustment to make the results from the achieved sample representative of the target sample and the population. The population estimates for April of each year are published in a separate release.

New samples, both based on the 2011 Census of Population, were introduced incrementally for the QNHS in Q4 2012 and in Q3 2016. The former was stratified using administrative county and population density while the latter was stratified using administrative county and the Pobal HP (Haase and Pratschke) Deprivation Index. The quarterly sample in each case was 26,000 households. The actual achieved sample varied over time depending on the level of response.

Usual Residence and De Facto Population Concepts

Up to and including Q1 2006 the annual population estimates were calculated using the defacto definition of population (i.e. all persons present in the state). Since Q2 2006 a new concept of usual residence has been used, i.e. all persons usually resident and present in the state plus absent persons who are usually resident in Ireland but are temporarily away from home and outside the state.

Usual residence and de facto population concepts

Up to and including Q1 2006 the annual population estimates were calculated using the defacto definition of population (i.e. all persons present in the state). Since Q2 2006 a new concept of usual residence has been used, i.e. all persons usually resident and present in the state plus absent persons who are usually resident in Ireland but are temporarily away from home and outside the State.

Statistical Significance

All estimates based on sample surveys are subject to error, some of which is measurable. Where an estimate is statistically significantly different from another estimate it means that we can be 95% confident that differences between those two estimates are not due to sampling error.

Reliability of Estimates Presented

Estimates for number of persons where there are less than 30 persons in a cell are too small to be considered reliable. These estimates are presented with an asterisk (*) in the relevant tables.

Where there are 30-49 persons in a cell, estimates are considered to have a wider margin of error and should be treated with caution. These cells are presented with parentheses [ ].

Note on Tables

The sum of row or column percentages in the tables in this report may not add to 100.0% due to rounding.

Percentage breakdowns exclude cases where the interviewee did not respond.

Pension Coverage 

Through the State Social Welfare system, most people are entitled to a basic flat rate pension. See the note on 'State Pensions' below. However, in many cases, there is a need for additional pension cover if the standard of living enjoyed while at work is to be maintained into retirement.  This additional or supplementary coverage is provided through occupational pension schemes and/or personal pension arrangements.  It is this additional cover which is the focus of this survey. The survey results presented in this statistical release do not cover pensions paid through the State Social Welfare system.

State Pensions

The State currently provides two types of retirement pension: State Pension (Contributory) and State Pension (Non-Contributory).

The State pension age is currently age 66, but this is changing in the coming years. The Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2011 made a number of changes to the qualifying age for State pensions. The qualifying age will rise to 67 in 2021 and 68 in 2028.

If you were born on or after 1 January 1955 the minimum qualifying State pension age will be 67

If you were born on or after 1 January 1961 the minimum qualifying State pension age will be 68

The State Pension (Contributory) is payable at age 66 (age 67 from 2021, age 68 from 2028) to people who have enough Irish social insurance contributions and is not means-tested.

The State Pension (Non-Contributory) previously known as the Old Age (Non-Contributory) Pension is payable at age 66 (age 67 from 2021, age 68 from 2028). The means-tested State Pension (Non-Contributory) is a payment for people aged 66 and over who do not qualify for a State Pension (Contributory) or who only qualify for a reduced contributory pension based on their PRSI contribution record.

Occupational Pension Scheme

Occupational pension schemes, also known as company pension plans, refer to employer-sponsored occupational pension schemes or relevant public sector scheme. Company pension plans of this nature are generally funded by both the employer and the employee through contributions based on a percentage of an employee’s gross salary.

An occupational pension scheme will be either a defined benefit or a defined contribution scheme.

In a defined benefit scheme, the pension paid on retirement is related to the number of years of employed service, and on the employee’s earnings at retirement, or in the years immediately preceding retirement, or on career earnings (as in the case of career average defined benefit schemes). Career average defined benefit schemes are a variation of the traditional defined benefit design. The level of pension at retirement is based not on the earnings close to retirement, but rather on the average earnings throughout the member's entire career.

In a defined contribution scheme, pension contributions by the employee and employer are put into a fund, the value of which changes over time. The pension payable is based on the value of contributions in the fund at retirement age.

The corresponding question asked on the Pensions survey questionnaire was as follows:

Is your pension more like Type A or Type B?

Type A: A defined contribution pension, where pension contributions by you and your employer are put into a fund, the value of which changes over time. Your pension will depend on the size of this fund when you retire.

Type B: A defined benefit pension, where your pension depends on the number of years' service and your earnings at retirement or in the years immediately preceding retirement. Also included are Career Average Defined Benefit Pensions.

Personal Pension Scheme

There are two forms of personal pension plans, a Personal Retirement Savings Account (PRSA) and a Retirement Annuity Contract (RAC).

Personal Retirement Savings Account (PRSA)

A Personal Retirement Savings Account (PRSA) is a personal pension plan available to both self-employed and employed individuals who may or may not have an occupational scheme, and is taken out with an authorised PRSA provider. PRSAs are a type of defined contribution scheme. PRSAs are available regardless of one's job or employment status.

On retirement, a PRSA provides retirement benefits based on the amount of contributions paid and the investment returns earned on those contributions. It is normally paid for by one's personal contributions, although employers can pay contributions also.

If an employer does not provide access to an occupational pension scheme or if certain restrictions apply to accessing the scheme, they must ensure that employees at least have access to a standard PRSA.

Retirement Annuity Contract (RAC)

A Retirement Annuity Contract (RAC) is a particular type of insurance contract obtained directly from life assurance companies, and through financial advisers. They are approved by Revenue to allow tax relief on contributions made by an individual. An RAC provides a tax-free lump sum, within certain limits, and a pension or other benefits at retirement. The value of the ultimate benefits payable from the contract depends on the amount of contributions paid and the investment return achieved.

National Pensions Policy Initiative (NPPI)

The National Pensions Policy Initiative was launched in October 1996 to facilitate debate on how to achieve a fully developed national pension system and to formulate a strategy and make recommendations for actions needed to achieve this system. For more information, please refer to:

http://www.pensionsauthority.ie/en/publications/information_booklets/securing_retirement_income1.pdf

One of the targets of this Initiative was that supplementary pension coverage would be needed for 70% of the working population aged 30 years and over by the year 2013.

National Pensions Framework

The National Pensions Framework was published on 3 March 2010 and sets out the Government’s plans for reform of the Irish pension system. It encompasses all aspects of pensions, from social welfare to private occupational pensions and public sector pension reform and is available at: http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/234_National-Pensions-Framework.aspx

Development of the Framework was informed by the range of views raised during the Green Paper consultation process. The Green Paper (published in October 2007) sets out the position in relation to social welfare, occupational, personal and public service pensions and is available at: http://www.welfare.ie/en/downloads/greenpaper.pdf

Pensions Authority

The Pensions Authority (formerly known as the Pensions Board) provides for the proper administration of pension schemes and the protection of pension rights for people living in Ireland. The Authority is the regulatory body for occupational pension schemes and Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSAs) and also has a role in the development of pension policy in general. Under the Social Welfare and Pensions (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013, the Pensions Board was renamed the Pensions Authority and its Chief Executive became the Pensions Regulator. These changes took effect from 7 March 2014.

Classifications Used

ILO Labour Force Classification

The primary classification used for the LFS results is the ILO (International Labour Office) labour force classification. Labour Force Survey data on this basis have been published since 1988. The ILO classification distinguishes the following main subgroups of the population aged 15 or over:

In Employment: Persons who worked in the week before the survey for one hour or more for payment or profit, including work on the family farm or business and all persons who had a job but were not at work because of illness, holidays etc. in the week.

Unemployed: Persons who, in the week before the survey, were without work and available for work within the next two weeks, and had taken specific steps, in the preceding four weeks, to find work. It should be noted that as per Eurostat’s operational implementation, the upper age limit for classifying a person as unemployed is 74 years.

Inactive Population (not in labour force): All other persons.

The labour force comprises persons employed plus unemployed.

Deprivation Index

The Pobal Haase-Pratschke Deprivation Index is used to create the underlying sample and is used to analyse the data. The Index uses Census data to measure levels of disadvantage or affluence in a geographical area. More detailed information on the index can be found here: https://www.pobal.ie/research-analysis/

The results are presented by quintiles, five equal-sized groups of households, with the first quintile representing the most disadvantaged areas and the fifth quintile representing the least deprived/most affluent areas.

The five quintiles are described below:

  • First Quintile - Very disadvantaged
  • Second Quintile - Disadvantaged
  • Third Quintile - Average
  • Fourth Quintile - Affluent
  • Fifth Quintile - Very affluent (least deprived)


Household Composition

For the purposes of deriving household composition, a child was defined as any member of the household aged 17 or under.  Households were analysed as a whole, regardless of the number of family units within the household.  The categories of household composition are:

  • 1 adult aged 18+ with no dependent children
  • 2 adults aged 18+ with no dependent children
  • 3 adults aged 18+ with no dependent children
  • 1 adult aged 18+ with dependent children aged <18
  • 2 adults aged 18+ with dependent children aged <18
  • 3 adults aged 18+ with dependent children aged <18

 NACE Industrial Classification

The LFS sectoral employment figures are based on the EU NACE Rev. 2 (Nomenclature généraledes activités économiques dans les Communauté européenne) classification as defined in Council Regulation (EC) no 1893/2006. Fourteen NACE sub-categories are distinguished in Table 2 of this release. From Q1 2009 NACE Rev. 2 has been adopted as the primary classification of industrial sectors for use in QNHS/LFS outputs. The NACE Rev. 1.1 classification had been in use from Q4 1997 to Q4 2008.

To facilitate analysis and the running of seasonal adjustment on the time series, NACE Rev. 2 estimates have been produced from Q1 1998 onwards. As of Q2 2009 only NACE Rev. 2 estimates have been published.

Occupation Classification

As a result of changes to the European regulations governing the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (implemented in Ireland using the LFS (formerly the QNHS) the CSO has been obliged to report occupational coding data to Eurostat based on the new Europe wide classification ISCO-08 from Q1 2011 onwards. To allow this requirement to be met the CSO changed to using UK SOC2010 as the primary classification used in collecting the data. ISCO-08 is then derived from UK SOC2010.

The previously used classification for publication purposes in Ireland was UK SOC1990 and this cannot be directly compared to the new UK SOC2010 classification as all occupations have been reclassified accordingly. One particular example which highlighted this change was the reclassifying of farmers from the major occupation grouping of ‘Managers and administrators’ in SOC1990 to the major occupation grouping of ‘Skilled trades’ in SOC2010.

Results for occupations coded to the new SOC2010 classification have now been recoded for historical quarters back to Q1 2007 to provide a longer and consistent time series for users.

Further information regarding SOC 2010 is available here.

Acknowledgement

The Central Statistics Office wishes to thank the participating households for their co-operation in agreeing to take part in the survey and for facilitating the collection of the relevant data.

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