From the emerging developments to tackle Ireland’s pensions time bomb to the difficult choices and human perspective in managing retirement, this is an area of growing complexity.
The Government’s Roadmap for Pensions Reform 2018-2023 will have profound effects not just on workplaces but on society as a whole, as we attempt to define and build a sustainable and equitable approach to retirement with real income adequacy.
At the seminar, Robert Nicholson, who leads the auto enrolment team in the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection talked about the pension reform plan, auto enrolment and the implications for employers. While the key principles are emerging, the system structure and design has many difficult issues to deal with to improve Ireland’s pension coverage. A consultation process on an auto enrolment strawman proposal will be launched later this year.
Charles Cotton, Reward Specialist in the CIPD, then talked about the impact and lessons from the introduction of auto enrolment in the UK. He presented the significant growth in pension scheme membership, the low number of those who opted out and the changes in pension contribution rates from employers and employees. The connection to taxation proved contentious, and likely will be in Ireland too. He talked about the practical steps around people management, employee communications and payroll accuracy that employers should already be activating.
The challenges and risks of managing retirement age were expertly addressed by Rhona Murphy of Ibec. She explained the impact of the obligation to objectively justify retirement age and the post retirement fixed term contract, as well as the implications of the WRC’s new Code of Practice on Longer Working and the Retirement and Fixed-Term Contracts Guidelines from Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.
At the end of the day, retirement is a major transition for employees, and Pauline Murray of the Retirement Planning Council talked about ways to understand and assist that transition and the value add of supporting retirement readiness for both the individual and the organisation.
During the discussion, there was clear delegate support for some form of auto enrolment, and an acknowledgement of the diversity of workplace situations that have to be considered. The CIPD also sought feedback on the importance of the Government’s proposed principles for a Total Contribution Approach, so if you are interested, please complete the questionnaire below.
Mary Connaughton, CIPD Ireland, summarised the challenges ahead, and the emergence of a three pronged approach to talent – bringing people in, moving people, and managing those leaving the organisation. Finally a short tour of the Royal College of Surgeons wonderful new hi-tech premises followed for those interested.
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