Top Irish Chef Neven Maguire Fires Up National Pensions Action Campaign 2008

Thursday 24 April 2008: The Pensions Board is to focus strongly on the hospitality, retail and agricultural sectors during the 2008 National Pensions Action Campaign, in order to highlight the importance of good pension provision, particularly in these sectors which have the lowest pension coverage in Ireland.

Award-winning chef Neven Maguire was on hand to support the Minister for Social and Family Affairs, Mr. Martin Cullen TD, launch the 2008 National Pensions Action Campaign. Mr. Tiarnan O Mahoney, Chairperson, the Pensions Board, Mr. Brendan Kennedy, Chief Executive of the Pensions Board and Mr. John Mulcahy, Head of Education and Skills Development in Fáilte Ireland, also present, urged workers in the hospitality sector to consider the benefits of planning for retirement; to speak with their employers, who are legally obliged to provide them with access to a pension; and to learn more about the tax benefits of pension contributions.

At today’s launch of the National Pensions Action Campaign 2008 Brendan Kennedy, Pensions Board Chief Executive said “The low pension coverage in these sectors is a particular worry. Only 10% of employees in the hospitality sector, now a significant sector in this country, have pensions. This is the lowest coverage of all sectors, followed by the agricultural, forestry and fishing sectors at 26% and wholesale and retail trade at 28%.” To target the hospitality sector, an entire day of the National Pensions Action Week will be dedicated to this sector.

Announcing details of National Pensions Action Week which will run from Thursday, May 1 until Wednesday, May 7, Kennedy continued: “Research also shows that workers in these low pension coverage sectors also have the lowest awareness of pensions. It is vital that employees understand their pension entitlements and the associated tax benefits while employers must also fulfill their obligations to their employees.”

As well as the focus on the hospitality, retail and agricultural sectors, the week will involve an intensive advertising and promotional campaign highlighting the other employment sectors with low pension coverage, women, who have a lower coverage rate than men and the key target audience of 25 – 35 year olds. The campaign will also highlight the workplace as the ideal location for pension discussion and promotion and will communicate the tax relief benefits available for pension contributions. Activity will include outdoor, ambient and online advertising, national print advertising, regional and national radio and TV advertising.

“The Pensions Board’s advice during National Pensions Action Week is to stop putting it off and start your pension. 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 on ,” Mr. Kennedy said.

– ENDS –

Media Queries:

David Malone
Head of Information Services
The Pensions Board
Tel: (01) 6131900

Maura Howe
Project Manager- National Pensions Action Campaign
The Pensions Board
Tel: (01) 6131900

Jackie Gallagher / Glen McGahern
Tel: (01) 4751444 / 087 – 237 1838/ 086 – 1940057


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 our online Pensions Calculator which can be accessed on for the booklets the LoCall number is 1890-65-65-65.

National Pensions Action Week 2008
Thursday 1 – Wednesday 7 May 2008.

Each day will be themed as follows;

Thursday 1 MayPensions in the Workplace Day
The first day is aimed at emphasising the workplace as an ideal location for the promotion of pensions. We are encouraging employers and organisations to hold a pension information event in the workplace.

Friday 2 May Women and Pensions Day
RTE’s Karina Buckley the National Pensions Action Campaign will be promoting the importance for women of ‘forecasting for their future’ from an early age. In addition to this a number of competitions will run across the country for a group of four friends to attend the soon to be released movie ‘Sex and the City’ at their local cinema followed by evening dinner. The message to consumers being – enjoy your current lifestyle but also remember to put some money aside to enjoy your lifestyle in retirement.

Saturday 3 May Young Pensioners Day
The Pensions Board will host a major competition for young people to win festival tickets over the weekend schedule on 2FM. The emphasis will be to drive traffic to the pension calculator and podcast on the website.

Sunday 4 May Pension Adequacy Day
The Pensions Board will launch the new Advanced Pensions Calculator which allows details of employer’s contributions to be added. The primary focus will be to promote pension adequacy through media coverage in the press and radio on this day.

Monday 5 May International Workers’ Pension Day
The Pensions Board will be promoting pensions to international workers through partnerships with relevant target media and FAS.

Tuesday 6 May National Pensions Sign Up Day
We are calling on providers to place a major emphasis on awareness, understanding and uptake of pensions on this day, targeting in particular potential customers that have been “putting off” starting a pension.

Wednesday 7 May Hospitality Day
The National Pensions Action Week will come to a close with an emphasis on the hospitality sector, which has the lowest pension coverage of all industries. We will work with Fáilte Ireland and the industry to support the promotion of pensions to staff in hotels, bars, cafés, restaurants, leisure centers etc nationwide.

There is a dedicated section of the Pensions Board web-site for the National Pensions Action Campaign, which provides a variety of materials for the promotion of the week in offices, places of work, centers of information throughout the country etc. These resources will include:

  • The updated Pension Checklist
  • Posters
  • Flyers
  • The Pensions Calculator and Savings Calculator
  • General article and presentation on pensions from which you can edit news items for your newsletters or website

The above can be easily downloaded, printed off or posted on relevant websites. For hard copies of the Pensions Checklist please contact the Information Unit directly on

Key Target Sectors

Sectors & demographics where pension awareness and action is low:

  • Hospitality – lowest level of pension coverage of all sectors and highest level of respondents who admitted to having limited knowledge of pensions.
  • Retail – second lowest level of pension coverage and second highest level of respondents admitting to not knowing about pensions in retirement.
  • Farming – third lowest pension coverage among employees and lowest personal pension coverage among self-employed.
  • Women – have lower pension coverage than men at 50.6% in comparison to 58.3%; the gap has been tightening since 2002, but continuous promotion is still required particularly given the nature of their work and fragmented career paths.
  • Population aged 25 – 35 years old – a key target for the Pensions Board, as it is critical that workers start their pension early in their working life in order to ensure they have adequate provision for their retirement.
  • Young People / Graduates – it is important that the pension message reaches people before they start their first job so as to encourage behavioural change towards spending.
  • International Workers – A high percentage of the migrant workers do not have a pension.

(CSO Quarterly National Household Survey 2006 figures)