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Majority of Irish people are saving again, but unaware of potential extra value in pensions

  • 64% of Irish people have savings, but a third claim to have no savings at all
  • More women are saving compared to men (67% versus 59%)
  • 43% of people who save put away over €100 a month
  • 42% of consumers who intend to start saving could afford to save €80 to €100 a month*

Ireland’s saving habits have been revealed in recent research* by Irish Life. Just under two thirds of Irish people are actively saving and have some savings, and in contrast, a third of people claim not to have any savings at all, and say they cannot afford to save.

The research highlighted that saving levels were higher among women (67%) than men (59%), and people over 55 years were saving the most. Of those that are saving, 43% of people are saving over €100 a month. People living in Dublin were found to be saving more overall. 18% of people claimed to be saving between €20 and €50 a month, with another 18% saving between €51 and €100 a month.

The research also found that a third of Irish employees have a company pension fund set up for when they retire, and a quarter of Irish employees have their own private pension in place.

By saving into a private or company pension plan, people’s savings can go a lot further. For example, because of the tax reliefs available, if a person wants to save €100 into a pension, it will only cost them €80 if their tax rate is 20%, or just €60 if their tax rate is 40%. On top of this, many workplaces in Ireland provide pension schemes for their employees, and operate a system of matching employee contributions, which can mean up to €200 into their pension fund, for a cost of €80 or €60 to the employee based on their contribution of €100. Irish Life wants to highlight this value to consumers and help them understand the benefits that saving into a pension can offer.

However, it can be a challenge to get people saving for their future. The research found that of those people who intend to start saving, and haven’t started yet, the majority of these people (42%) said they could afford to save between €80 and €100 per month. A quarter of consumers said they could afford to save between €20 and €80 a month, and 14% said they could put away over €100 a month if they started saving.

Commenting on the research findings, Tony Lawless, Managing Director, Irish Life Corporate Business, said; “It’s positive to see that people are saving. However, we are helping people to understand that they can significantly enhance their financial position in retirement by starting to save into a pension, or by even increasing the amount they save in addition to any employer pension contributions they may receive.”

Tony Lawless also said: “To help companies promote their workplace pension as a smart way to save, we introduced Irish Life EMPOWER. This is a company pension plan that gives people more control to help them achieve better outcomes at retirement.

“We have successfully transformed pension scheme membership and savings levels for a number of our corporate clients, through innovative and simple measures such as auto opt-in to the company pension plan for new employees, registering employees to auto-increase their savings levels, and implementing a range of online tools to show employees whether they are on track with their retirement savings. We have seen some great results with our clients.”, he said.

For more information on Irish Life EMPOWER, visit www.irishlifeEMPOWER.ie

* The research was conducted by iReach on behalf of Irish Life in March 2017. The total sample of 1,001 adults surveyed is representative of the national population in Ireland.

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