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A model of pensions for women in Ireland Presentation to Irish Women Lawyers Association. Rachel Doyle NWCI Head Outreach, July 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "A model of pensions for women in Ireland Presentation to Irish Women Lawyers Association. Rachel Doyle NWCI Head Outreach, July 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 A model of pensions for women in Ireland Presentation to Irish Women Lawyers Association. Rachel Doyle NWCI Head Outreach, July 2009.

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3 Current Irish System- Facts Older population stable at 11% of total Older population stable at 11% of total 2/3 of Older people receive State pension 2/3 of Older people receive State pension Women half as likely to have pension as men Women half as likely to have pension as men Total pensions expenditure stable as % of GNP (2.1%) Total pensions expenditure stable as % of GNP (2.1%) Pensioner poverty now 16% Pensioner poverty now 16%

4 Reform issues for Irish System Issues Adequacy Adequacy Structure Structure Equity Equity Sustainability Sustainability Individualisation Individualisation Governance Governance Current Reality Low state pension Voluntary 2nd tier Retain tax reliefs Looming crisis Not a central issue No discussion

5 Principles of Feminist Pension Reform Principles of Feminist Pension Reform Economic autonomy, direct pension rights. Economic autonomy, direct pension rights. Labour Market Equality - addresses cumulative labour market inequality. Labour Market Equality - addresses cumulative labour market inequality. Facilitating atypical work, - fully inclusive Facilitating atypical work, - fully inclusive Ethic of Care Ethic of Care Equal sharing of care obligations. Equal sharing of care obligations. Retrospective pensions justice. Retrospective pensions justice.

6 Pension principles – continued Adequacy – for a decent quality of life Adequacy – for a decent quality of life Simplicity, transparency, information Simplicity, transparency, information Allowing for some provision for income replacement Allowing for some provision for income replacement

7 Pension principles – equally important Enable flexible mobile lifestyles consistent with high levels of migration Enable flexible mobile lifestyles consistent with high levels of migration Enable diversity and inclusion of family formation Enable diversity and inclusion of family formation Respect life style choices in relation to old age Respect life style choices in relation to old age Sustainable Sustainable

8 Model

9 Proposed three tier model The critical decision is the relative importance in the pension system of an adequate first-tier state pension. The critical decision is the relative importance in the pension system of an adequate first-tier state pension. A second-tier pension should take the form of a state earnings related pension that builds on the existing, widely accepted social insurance system A second-tier pension should take the form of a state earnings related pension that builds on the existing, widely accepted social insurance system Third tier –voluntary pensions system with very limited tax incentivised savings and development of more equitable progressive savings incentives Third tier –voluntary pensions system with very limited tax incentivised savings and development of more equitable progressive savings incentives

10 First Tier A Comprehensive Guarantee Make adequacy and individual entitlement the immediate, core function of first tier pensions Make adequacy and individual entitlement the immediate, core function of first tier pensions Adequate universal pension for all over 66 and resident in Ireland Adequate universal pension for all over 66 and resident in Ireland Immediate pension justice and direct rights Immediate pension justice and direct rights Simple, transparent, equitable, comprehensive Simple, transparent, equitable, comprehensive Equality and ethic of care Equality and ethic of care Sustainability - switch tax expenditures into first tier, increase women’s labour market participation, choice of retirement age etc Sustainability - switch tax expenditures into first tier, increase women’s labour market participation, choice of retirement age etc

11 2 nd Tier social insurance contributory pensions Ensuring maximum eligibility Ensuring maximum eligibility Ensure benefit calculations advantage women (gender impact assessment) Ensure benefit calculations advantage women (gender impact assessment) Maximise access by enabling easy re-entry after periods of disruption; Maximise access by enabling easy re-entry after periods of disruption; enable relatives assisting, including spouses of self-employed and farmers, to be insuredenable relatives assisting, including spouses of self-employed and farmers, to be insured Transforming homemakers’ disregards into credits and awarding these retrospectively from Transforming homemakers’ disregards into credits and awarding these retrospectively from 1973.

12 2 nd Tier social insurance contributory pensions Introducing gender neutral paid parental leave benefit for parents of young children Introducing gender neutral paid parental leave benefit for parents of young children Once-off, ring fenced retrospective scheme Once-off, ring fenced retrospective scheme Once adequacy in the first tier guaranteed introduce an income replacement function into SI Once adequacy in the first tier guaranteed introduce an income replacement function into SI

13 “ My long search for security in my later years has left me frustrated with the social welfare system. I feel unvalued by the state for all the years I’ve given to caring, we were unpaid workers who took care of parents. We saved the state a lot of money” (Mary) “ My long search for security in my later years has left me frustrated with the social welfare system. I feel unvalued by the state for all the years I’ve given to caring, we were unpaid workers who took care of parents. We saved the state a lot of money” (Mary)

14 “ I am now seventy years of age and have received nothing from the state even though I have contributed to society by rearing the future generation”. (Catherine) “ I am now seventy years of age and have received nothing from the state even though I have contributed to society by rearing the future generation”. (Catherine)

15 “ I am a person in my own right and I would like to be as independent as possible” (Cecilia)


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