A module on the topic of pension coverage among workers aged 20 to 69 years was included in the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) in the fourth quarter (October – December) of 2015. This report presents the results of that module.
Summary of main results
There was a fall in the proportion of workers who had a pension in Quarter 4 2015 compared with the same period in 2009. In Q4 2015, just under half (47%) of all workers aged between 20 and 69 years had a pension (occupational pension, personal pension or both). This compares with 51% in Quarter 4 2009 and 54% in Quarter 1 2008. See table 1.1.
Pension coverage remained lowest among the youngest workers. In Quarter 4 2015, 14.1% of workers aged 20-24 years had a pension while just over one third (36%) of workers aged 25 to 34 years reported having a pension. Pension coverage was greatest among workers aged 35-44 years where total pension coverage was 55.3%. See table 1.1.
Three out of every ten self-employed persons had pension coverage in Quarter 4 2015. This compares with 36% in the same period in 2009 and 46% in Quarter 1 2008. In Q4 2015, pension coverage for employees was 50.2%. See table 1.1.
In Quarter 4 2015, 73% of workers aged between 20 and 69 years had an occupational pension compared with 77% in Q4 2009. The proportion of workers who had a personal pension in Q4 2015 was 18% while 9% of workers had both an occupational and personal pension in the period. See table 2.1 and figure 1.
The proportion of workers with an occupational pension who identified their pension as a ‘defined contribution’ pension was 54% while the remaining 46% of workers with an occupational pension identified their pension as a ‘defined benefit’ pension. See table 2.2 and figure 2.
The most common reason given by respondents for not having a pension, reported by 39% of workers, was that they could not afford a pension. In addition, just over one fifth (22%) of workers said that they never got around to organising a pension. See table 3.1.
Nearly 70% of workers with no occupational pension coverage stated that their employer does not offer a pension scheme. See table 3.2.
In Quarter 4 2015, 68% of workers stated that they expected to retire aged between 60 and 69 years while one in twelve (8%) stated that they had no intention of ever retiring. See table 4.1.
In Q4 2015, 42% of workers said that they expected that an occupational or personal pension would be their main source of income when they retired. The proportion of workers who expected the State social welfare pension to be their main source of income has risen from 26% in Quarter 4 2009 to 36% in the same period of 2015. See table 4.3.
Central Statistics Office
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