Call for Government to revise pension reform plans

The Irish ProShare Association (IPSA) today called on the government to revise its plans to reform the pension system to better promote employee share incentive schemes. The call was made by IPSA Chairman Bernard Daly, speaking at the association's Annual Conference in the Davenport Hotel, Dublin, on the challenge of pensions in Ireland and Europe.

Responding to a presentation by Orlaigh Quinn, Assistant Secretary General at the Department of Social and Family Affairs on the National Pensions Framework, Mr Daly said the framework, as currently set out, is a missed opportunity to promote the role of employee share incentive schemes in the provision of supplementary pensions. Mr Daly nevertheless welcomed the Government commitment to continue a process of consultation as the details of pension proposals are drawn up and finalised. 

"Ireland should follow other countries and remove obstacles to transferring and holding shares acquired under employee share schemes in a pension portfolio. Canada has already made such changes and has reaped the benefits," said Mr Daly.

"Ireland, like many other countries, is facing a pensions crisis and everyone recognises that decisive government action is needed.  Relatively small legislative and tax changes can increase pension coverage and assist people to save more for a longer time. It is vital that the government takes steps to encourage a tax and legislative environment that supports the development of employee financial participation."

The conference was opened by Éamon Ó Cuív TD, Minister for Social Protection, and was addressed by a range of specialist speakers from Ireland and across Europe on the challenges facing companies with regard to managing their pension schemes in light of the major financial challenges many schemes now face.

The conference is part of a European Commission funded project which is been coordinated by the International Association for Financial Participation and is one of a series of seminars on various aspects of financial participation, including the link between pensions and employee share-ownership schemes.

Article Published: 29/04/2010