National Pensions Framework – A Summary

The new National Pensions Framework for Ireland was unveiled today. As expected – it included rises in retirement age and an “auto enrolment”   pension scheme for many  workers.

The state contributory pension will remain – but the the current averaging system will be replaced by a  “total contributions” ‟ approach. This means the amount of pension will be proportional to thenumber of years that a person has contributed.

The Irish State Pension age will be increased to 66 in 2014 , increased to 67 in 2021 and then to 68  in 2028  .

All employees in Ireland will be automatically enrolled into a new pension scheme unless they are a member of their employer’s scheme and that scheme provides higher contribution levels or is a Defined Benefit  scheme.

Contributions to the new pension scheme will be made within a band of earnings, with earnings below and above certain thresholds exempt. Employees will be required to make a fixed percentage contribution.

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Tax relief for contributions to existing occupational and personal pension : arrangements currently based on a contributor‟s marginal rate of tax will be replaced with a State contribution equal to 33 per cent tax relief  and employer contributions will match the State contribution;

Contributions will be collected through the PRSI system. Employees can opt out but they will be re-enrolled every two years . As an enticement to stay in the scheme – there will be a once-off bonus payment for people who remain in the schemefor more than five years continuously

Public Service Pensions : A single new pension scheme will be introduced for all new entrants to the publicservice, before the end of  2010.