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Pension Commission fails to address deep inequalities for women in pension system

Published: Thursday, October 07, 2021

In an initial response to the publication of the Commission on Pensions report, the National Women’s Council (NWC) today noted that the Commission acknowledged the need for further gender and equality proofing of future decisions, but are disappointed that the deep, structural inequalities experienced by women in our pensions system are not more comprehensively addressed.

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWC said,

“While it will take some time to analyse the full report, it would appear that the Commission recommendations continue to uphold a system that is failing women. It is failing those older women who were expected by Irish society to take on the full weight of caring responsibilities but whose contribution is not fully recognised by our pension system. And, it is failing those women who today, continue to provide the lions share of unpaid care and to be in low paid, part time jobs on precarious contracts.”

In its engagement with the Commission on Pensions, NWC had called for the introduction of an adequate, universal State pension. “A universal pension is the best way to recognise that paid work and unpaid work are equally valuable and to guarantee income adequacy in older age”, continued Orla O’Connor.

“Pension rights continue to be too closely tied to participation in the labour market. In failing to recommend a universal State pension, the Commission on Pensions have not taken into account the barriers to the labour market faced, for example, by disabled women, lone parents or Traveller women and have reinforced rather than mitigated gender inequalities.”

NWC will issue a full response when the full details of the report are analysed.

Read NWC’s Submission to the Pension Commission


For more information, please contact Silke Paasche, Head of Communications, NWC, Tel. 085 858 9104.