Almost two-thirds of professionals working in the pensions industry do not believe that a Government plan for auto-enrolment in workplace pension schemes will happen as planned in 2024.
The survey was carried out by business-law firm Mason Hayes & Curran (MHC) at a recent webinar on the future of pensions in Ireland.
The new system is designed to simplify pensions decisions for workers, and to make it easier for employers to offer a workplace pension.
The survey found, however, that 62% of those attending the webinar believed the introduction of the plan would be delayed until 2025 or later, while 2% thought it would never happen.
Master trusts ‘complex’
It also found that almost half (45%) of employers plan to move their occupational-pension scheme to a master trust, a vehicle that allows employers to outsource all aspects of management and regulatory compliance.
Of those surveyed, 14% reported that this had already happened in their organisation, and 31% said that it would happen in the next 12 months.
Stephen Gillick (MHC partner and head of pensions, small picture) said that master trusts were set to play an important part in the Irish pensions market.
“These products are similar to defined-contribution schemes, and can be utilised by multiple employers that are unrelated to each other,” he explained, adding that the benefits included economy of scale, and a reduced regulatory and administrative burden on employers.
“However, they are more complex to set up than a standard contribution scheme, and have had their own problems, such as potential conflicts of interest,” said Gillick.
The MHC webinar also discussed recently approved changes to the State pension, which kept the age at which people can receive the State pension at 66, but introduced the option of working until 70 in return for a higher pension.
Almost two-thirds of respondents said they would not consider delaying their retirement to age 70, if the State pension increased from €253 to €315.