The Pensions Board to attend Woman's World show, RDS

Only 37% of all new PRSA accounts opened by women.

Friday 2 June 2006: The Pensions Board will focus on one of its key target sectors when they attend the Woman’s World Show at the RDS this weekend (2nd – 4th June). Pensions coverage overall for the female workforce stands at 47.5% compared to 54.2% for men. Recent Pensions Board figures confirm that women are still lagging behind in terms of PRSA uptake with only 37% of all new PRSA accounts opened by women compared to 63% for their male counterparts. The Pensions Board will have an information stand at the Woman’s World to encourage women to start funding for their financial independence in retirement.

As part of its promotional activities under the National Pensions Awareness Campaign the Board will be running a competition at Woman’s World comprising of a full days’ beauty treatment for two friends in the fabulous Powerscourt Springs Health Farm.

Life expectancy is increasing all the time where a woman retiring now at 65 can expect to live to 84 compared to a man retiring at 65 can expect to live to 81. Furthermore many women have a fragmented career path, and tend to earn less than men. When compounded, these factors make women more vulnerable to poverty, especially in their later years.

Outside of the key urban areas in Ireland the pensions coverage rate is lower again for women. This can be attributed to the increased levels of part-time, seasonal and contract working patterns. Also there is a higher level of employment dependency on the hospitality, retail and farming sectors where traditionally pension coverage levels in general are low.

Discussing the issue, Mary Hutch, Head of Information and Training, Pensions Board said: “Our research tells us that 79% of women don’t feel that they will be able to survive on the State pension of €193.30 per week when they retire.”

“The reality is that if you start a pension early, you won’t have to contribute huge amounts over the course of your working life to provide you with a comfortable retirement. However if you ignore the issue and start a pension late in life, you’ll have to contribute significant amounts which will impact on your lifestyle,” said Ms Hutch.

The time for action is now so the Board encourages women to visit the on-line Pensions Calculator and work out your future pension needs on www.pensionsboard.ie and talk to their employer about a pension or go directly to their bank, insurance company or financial advisor and find out about starting a pension today.

ENDS/

Media queries:

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


Jackie Gallagher / Mark Leech
Q4 Public Relations
Tel: 01 4751444
Mobiles: 087 2371838 / 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 Related Pension Incentive Tax Credit Scheme
An employee with an income less than €50,000 will be able to pay up to €7,500 out of their SSIA on maturity into a pension and receive up to €2,500 from the State. The amount transferred from the SSIA will also be exempt from the 23% exit tax. Further details are on www.revenue.ie

Pensions Research on Women
Research conducted by the Pensions Board among 1,000 respondents in the 20 – 54 year old age bracket revealed that 79% of women said that the State pension would not be enough to live on. 69% of women said that it should be compulsory to start a pension compared to 59% of males and 54% of females said that they would be willing to pay a higher rate of PRSI to provide for compulsory pensions, compared to 40% of males. (Catalyst 2006)

Pension Information
The Pensions Board has a range of information booklets on pensions matters including a comprehensive booklet on 'Women and Pensions'. All of the booklets are available online on at www.pensionsboard.ie and from LoCall 1890 65 65 65.