Sinn Féin spokesperson for Employment Affairs & Social Protection John Brady TD has said that in order for Auto Enrolment to be a success, the State must be a key player in its implementation.
Sinn Féin made this point as part of its submission to the consultation process last year.
Teachta Brady said:
“While some elements of the new Auto Enrolment pension scheme have been agreed by Government, crucial decisions are yet to be made, including the rate of the Government’s contribution to an employee’s pension pot.
“Further clarification is also needed on some of the elements agreed by Cabinet and the rationale for such decisions for the new scheme. For example, the age limit set at 60 does not reflect the fact that people are working longer and therefore, for new entrants this age limit should be re-examined rather than just on an opt in basis.
“I am also concerned that there is no mention of the self-employed when it comes to opting in to such a scheme. It is unclear whether those who are self-employed with no employees can opt in just as those earning under €20,000 will be able to.
“The decision to establish a Central Processing Authority to source and provide the employee with a “limited number” of pension providers ignores the fact that most people find pensions extremely complex and struggle to differentiate what different pension plans will mean for them.
“Instead this could be avoided by having one provider, a public fund such as the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) as put forward in our submission to the consultation process, to manage the scheme on behalf of the State. This would ensure certainty and security for all employees paying into their pension pot.
“If the Government plan to hand this new pension scheme over to private interests rather than it being a State scheme, today’s workers will not benefit as they should at retirement.”