PENSION POLICY IN IRELAND: AN EVALUATION – HOW WE MIGHT BETTER ACHIEVE ITS STATED AIMS
This paper sets out to evaluate pension policy in Ireland. By ascertaining the system’s stated aims, it then appraises its performance in achieving them. The main purpose of the paper is to suggest a change to the system that would better achieve these aims.
This Study is driven by economic, moral and social imperatives. It advances the argument for the social responsibility of a society to provide for its most vulnerable, and to do so in a way that is equitable, affordable and sustainable.
Using population projections devised by the Central Statistics Office and incorporating numerous economic and fiscal assumptions, the research shows that it is possible to achieve each objective of the system as set out by the Irish government in the Green Paper on Pensions, as well as a number of additional and complementary objectives suggested by this Study.
The key findings are that the system can be made more financially equitable and less discriminatory, while bringing universal pension coverage to the country and thusly eliminating poverty among the elderly. More importantly, this can be done at no immediate additional cost to the Exchequer and at an affordable and sustainable cost in the long-term.
This paper recommends a reduction in the extent to which the Exchequer supports private pension arrangements via the tax regime, and suggests using money saved to implement part, or all, of the proposal made in this Study.
*Eamon holds a BA in Economics and Politics from UCD and is a recent graduate of All Hallows with a Masters in Social Justice & Public Policy. He is currently engaged in independent research.