Only 46% of working adults in Ireland say there is a company pension plan available for them at work and, where there is such a plan, 76% of people are saving into a company pension.
This is according to new research conducted by Irish Life which gives an insight into the pension status of Ireland’s workforce.
Nearly half of all workers who make savings into a group pension plan (49%) are aware of the amount that their employer pays into the plan. From the research, younger workers seem better informed about their workplace pension than their older colleagues.
Two thirds of workers aged 18-34 know how much their employer contributes into their pension plan, in comparison to only one quarter of those aged 55 or older knowing the contribution levels. Overall, women were less aware of employer contribution rates (40%) compared to men (56%).
Only 54% of workers know that saving into a pension is a tax efficient way to save for the future, showing a lack of awareness among Ireland's workforce. However, those 55 years and older are more aware of this (69%).
Pension plans that employers contribute to are the second highest valued workplace benefits for employees in Ireland (25% of employees rate workplace pension highest), just behind the 28% of employees who value health insurance most. Pension plan benefits are even more valuable as employees get older – 42% of those aged 55 and older say this is their most valued workplace benefit.
Commenting on the research findings, Managing Director at Irish Life Corporate Business, Tony Lawless said, "It is encouraging to hear that people are saving into their workplace pension plans. However, worryingly, many people still don’t understand the tax breaks available on pension savings and more than half of those working say they do not have a group pension available to them. This highlights a significant lack of awareness, as all employers must provide access to either a company pension scheme or PRSA."