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Pension policy is failing women

Published: Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The latest report by the ESRI “Gender, pension and income in retirement” published today, shows when it comes to pensions the vast inequality between women and men persists.

Commenting on the findings and policy recommendations of the report, Orla O’Connor, Director of the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) said,

“This report raises once again serious questions in relation to the Government’s reform of our pension system, which focuses mainly on increasing enrolment into private pensions. This approach does nothing to address the inherent gender differences in terms of employment history and is likely to further increase rather than reduce gender inequalities in relation to the old age pension. Women are more likely to be in low pay, precarious employment and move in and out of the workforce due to their care responsibilities over their life time. For these women the solution is not about focusing on their financial literacy and raising awareness about private pensions. They simply do not have the resources to invest in a private pension.”

She continued,

“If we are serious about tackling the gender pay gap we must invest in a universal State pension system, where all, women and men, receive the same  pensions, without qualifying conditions and at level that enables people to live their older years with dignity. We could start investing in a universal pension scheme in Budget 2020 by reducing the tax relief to private pensions to at least to the lower rate of tax. It’s time for a complete rethink of our pension policy to one that places equality and living with dignity in our older years at the centre.”


For more information, please contact SilkePaasche, Head of Communications, NWCI, Tel. 085 858 9104.