Irish Life Health
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Irish Life
Irish Life the largest life and pensions group and fund manager in Ireland, employing 2,000 people and servicing one million customers.
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More than half of working adults in Ireland say they do not have a company pension plan available

New research* conducted by Irish Life gives an insight into the pension status of Ireland’s workforce. Just 46% of working adults say there is a company pension plan available for them at work and, where there is such a plan, 76% of people are saving into a company pension.

Nearly half of all workers who make savings into a group pension plan (49%) are aware of the amount that their employer pays into the plan. From the research, younger workers seem more aware of their contribution levels than older colleagues. Two thirds of workers aged 18-34 know how much their employer contributes into their pension plan in comparison to only one quarter of those aged 55 or older knowing the contribution levels.  Overall, women were less aware of contribution levels (40%) compared to men (56%).

Only 54% of workers know that saving into a pension is a tax efficient way to save for the future. However, those 55 years and older are more aware of this (69%).

The research for Irish Life also explored the most important workplace benefits for employees. Pension plans that employers contribute to are the second highest valued workplace benefits for employees in Ireland (25% of employees rate workplace pension highest), just behind the 28% of employees who value health insurance most. Pension plan benefits are even more valuable as employees get older – 42% of those aged 55 and older say this is their most valued workplace benefit.

Commenting on the research findings, Tony Lawless, Managing Director, Irish Life Corporate Business, said:

“It is encouraging to hear that people are saving into their workplace pension plans. However, worryingly, many people still don’t understand the tax breaks available on pension savings and more than half of those working say they do not have a group pension available to them. This highlights a significant lack of awareness, as all employers must provide access to either a company pension scheme or PRSA.

From an analysis of our defined contribution pension book, 90%** of people might not hit a target of achieving a pension of 33% of their final salary unless they save more. This indicates that pension awareness overall is still an issue for the industry and for the population.

 To help companies promote their workplace pension as a benefit and to help workers understand more about their pension, we introduced Irish Life EMPOWER. This is a company pension that gives people more control to help them achieve better outcomes at retirement. We partner with lots of employers on ways to help improve pension awareness and we’ve seen some powerful results.”


For more information on Irish Life EMPOWER, visit

* 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.

**Source: Irish Life Corporate Business.


Media coverage

The rish Times : Ignorance contributing to looming pension crisis, study shows

Business World: Over half of working adults in Ireland do not have a company pension plan

The Independent: Half of workers have no access to pension

Bizplus: Half of workers have no company pension plan

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