Pensions Board Launches National Pensions Action Week 2006

The Board calls on people to stop putting off taking action on starting a pension.

Monday 24 April 2006: The Pensions Board today has announced details of National Pensions Action Week which will take place from May 1st – 7th and will exhort people to take action around pensions. The week will involve an intensified advertising and promotional focus on the key age targets of 25 – 39 and will include on-the-street promotional activity, outdoor, ambient and online advertising, national print advertising, regional and national radio and TV advertising.

The Pensions Board’s recent independent Consumer Research shows that for those who do not contribute to a pension the main reasons given for not doing so were; too young yet (20%), can’t afford it / too expensive (21%), and not interested in pensions (12%). The research goes on to show that 4 out of 5 people surveyed said that the State old age pension would NOT meet their needs in retirement.

It is vital that young workers start their pension early in their working life in order to ensure they have adequate provision for their retirement. Pensions Action Week will also focus on the issue of women and pensions as the female population has traditionally lower pension coverage than the male population in Ireland.

“With nearly half the Irish workforce not having any pension cover it is time for people to stop putting it off and start funding a pension. Our advice is to talk to your employer, pick up the phone to a provider, talk to a parent or friend if required or check out our online pension calculator, but whatever else, use National Pensions Action Week to take action on securing your future,” said Anne Maher, Chief Executive of the Pensions Board.

The 2006 Finance Act provides a special incentive to the lower paid to reinvest all or part of their SSIA proceeds after maturity into an approved pension product. With nearly half the SSIA savers under 40 years of age, the Pensions Board is encouraging these account holders to invest some or all of their SSIA capital in starting a pension or adding to their existing contributions.

Speaking at the launch, Tiarnan O Mahoney, Chairperson of the Pensions Board said “It is crucial that the savings habit is not abandoned by consumers when the SSIAs come to fruition. A pension is like a long-term version of an SSIA account with tax incentives which make sense from the financial point of view”

Friday 5th May will see the holding of the National Pensions Forum in Dublin Castle to progress the pensions debate. Following the publication of the Board’s National Pensions Review, this forum is being held to elicit the views of the many stakeholders who contribute towards the formulation of pension policy in Ireland. The forum will be chaired by Minister Seamus Brennan and will hear from national and international speakers on pensions reform.

The Pensions Board pensions calculator and a comprehensive selection of information booklets on pensions is available on www.pensionsboard.ie


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Media Queries:

Mary Hutch
Head of Information and Training
The Pensions Board
Tel: (01) 6131900

David Malone
Project Manager- National Pensions Action Campaign
The Pensions Board
Tel: (01) 6131900

Jackie Gallagher / Mark Leech Q4 PR Tel: (01) 4751444
087-237 1838
087-9053679


Notes:

About the Pensions Board
The Pensions Board is the statutory body set up to regulate occupational pension schemes and PRSAs and to advise the Minister for Social and Family Affairs, and through him, the Government, on overall pension policy development.


SSIA Incentive
The 2006 Finance Act provides a special incentive to the lower paid to reinvest all or part of their SSIA proceeds after maturity into an approved pension product. For every €3 of SSIA proceeds reinvested by an eligible SSIA holder in a pension product, the Exchequer will contribute €1 by way of a tax credit. Further information on this incentive is available on www.revenue.ie .

Pension Information
The information Unit at the Pensions Board provides a wide range of pension information booklets free of charge and can be reached at the LoCall number 1890-65-65-65 and on www.pensionsboard.ie.


National Pensions Awareness Campaign 2006

National Pensions Action Week 2006
Monday 1st – Sunday 7th May.

Each day will have a theme as follows;

• Monday Launch the week on Labour Day
• Tuesday Pensions in the Workplace Day
• Wednesday Women and Pensions Day
• Thursday National Pensions Sign Up Day
• Friday Pensions Forum in Dublin Castle
• Saturday Young Pensioners Day
• Sunday Pension Adequacy Day


Pensions Action Activity to date :

Pensions Checklist Distribution
The Pensions Checklist has been electronically distributed to all our support Agencies, including the Pension Providers and representative organisations i.e. IBEC, ICTU, IFA, ICA etc. Physical copies are being delivered to Social Welfare Offices, Citizen Information Centres and 20 FAS Training centres around the country.

FÁS Opportunities Exhibition in Croke Park.
The Pensions Board attended at this four day exhibition to mark teaming up with FÁS, the Training and Employment Authority, to implement a new pensions initiative as part of the training for all FÁS trainees. The initiative will see up to 100,000 FÁS trainees each year provided with pensions information as part of their induction.

Institute of Career Guidance Counsellors
The Pensions Board attended the Institute of Career Guidance Counsellors Annual Conference in March and included a copy of the Pensions Checklist in each conference pack for their 1,200 members. Here the main aim is to have Career Guidance Counsellors impart pension information to their students, particularly those who will go direct into the work force from second level school.

Third Level Colleges and Universities
All Career Guidance Officers in Third Level Colleges and Universities were circulated with the Pensions Checklist encouraging them to place the importance of long term financial planning onto the radar screens of young graduates.

International Women’s Day
The Pensions Board marked International Women’s Day by teaming up with CPL, Ireland’s leading recruitment company, who will now provide pensions information to those seeking employment. The initiative will see 30,000 candidates every year given the Pensions Board “Checklist” which encourages them to start a pension when they begin their new position.