Half of workers say they have not been offered access to a pension

Sunday 11th March 2007: Employers were today urged to offer their employees access to a pension. Research conducted by The Pensions Board for Pensions Action Week has revealed that 51% of respondents said that they have not been offered access to a pension by their employer and of those, just 6% had asked their employer about a pension.

The Minister for Social and Family Affairs, Seamus Brennan, TD today highlighted Pensions in the Workplace Day – Monday 12th March, which kick starts National Pensions Action Week at the Tesco store in Dundrum. Tesco will conduct over 100 staff pension seminars in its stores around the country as part of Pensions Action Week.

Discussing the research findings, Brendan Kennedy, Chief Executive, Pensions Board said: “Monday 12th March is Pensions in the Workplace Day and I would encourage every worker who has not yet started a pension to talk to their employer about access to a pension. One in two workers are telling us that their employer hasn’t offered them access to a pension and, of these people, just 6% have taken the step of asking their employer about gaining access to a pension. By law your employer must provide you with some form of access to a pension, whether you are in full-time, part-time, temporary, contract or casual employment. This requirement is an important part in our drive to increase private pension coverage in Ireland. The Pensions Board enforces this mandatory access requirement and we regard non-compliance by employers as a serious matter”.

“We’re delighted that Tesco is running staff pension seminars in all of its stores during Pension Action Week and we would encourage other employers to do likewise throughout the year. From an employer’s perspective, having a good pension scheme in place is a good way of attracting, rewarding and retaining quality staff. The company can benefit by gaining a reputation and respect as a good employer with a workforce that feels valued. The company will also benefit from employers’ PRSI and Health levy relief where they operate a payroll deduction facility for employees’ pension contributions,” said Brendan Kennedy.

Discussing the Tesco pension seminars for staff, Dermot Breen, Director of Corporate Affairs, Tesco Ireland said: “In Tesco we are looking forward to Pensions Actions Week. During the week we will run over 100 staff seminars in our stores and throughout the rest of the business. This activity will be supported by an internal promotional campaign which will provide all the latest pension and AVC information. It is a great opportunity for us all to take stock and ensure our future pension requirements are catered for.”

National Pensions Action Week will involve an intensified advertising and promotional focus on the key age targets of 25 – 39 and will include on-the-street promotional activity, outdoor, ambient and online advertising, national print advertising, regional and national radio and TV advertising. The Pensions Board advice during Pensions Action Week is to stop putting it off and start your pension now. So talk to your employer, pick up the phone to a provider, talk to a parent or friend about pensions and check out the online Pension calculator or the SSIA calculators on www.pensionsboard.ie .

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Media Queries:

Mary Hutch
Head of Information and Training
The Pensions Board
Tel: (01) 6131900

David Malone
Project Manager- National Pensions Action Campaign
The Pensions Board
Tel: (01) 6131900

Jackie Gallagher / Mark Leech Q4 PR Tel: (01) 4751444
087-237 1838


About The Pensions Board
The Pensions Board is the statutory body set up to regulate occupational pension schemes and PRSAs and to advise the Minister for Social and Family Affairs, and through him, the Government, on overall pension policy development.

Pension Information
The information unit at The Pensions Board provides a wide range of pension information booklets free of charge and can be reached at the LoCall number 1890-65-65-65 and on www.pensionsboard.ie.