develop_region: 
Unknown
iso2: 
IE
iso3: 
IRL
Continent: 
Europe
Official name: 
Ireland

OPINION: With the State pension age rising and the proposed auto-enrolment scheme delayed, the pensions industry faces a real challenge in persuading people to start saving for retirement. According to the latest statistics from the CSO, only 56 per cent of workers in Ireland had supplementary pension arrangements in addition to State entitlements in 2018.

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OECD’s biennial report on the pension systems across OECD and G20 countries. Each edition opens with an overview comparing pension policies of OECD countries and recent reforms. This is followed by at least one thematic chapter and a range of indicators including pension projections for today’s workers.

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Financial assistance for farming families had the highest level of excess payments by the Department of Social Protection last year, a review has found. A report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) also showed carers’ allowance and widow and widower’s pension payments ranked highly on a list of financial supports that paid out too much money to recipients.

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A new clampdown on social welfare fraud will include increased inspections and penalties for employers who falsely claim that workers are self-employed. The practice estimated to cost the exchequer up to up to a quarter of a billion euro per year. By the end of this year, the Government is also planning to introduce a new criminal offence of wilfully and knowingly misclassifying an employee as being self-employed. The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection spends €20 billion per year on social welfare payments for unemployment, disability, and other supports.

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Irish men receive an average of €153 more than women in their pension payments, according to research by the Economic and Social Research Unit (ESRI). The study found the average total weekly pension income in 2010 was €280 for women and €433 for men, indicating a gender pension gap of approximately 35%. The total gender pension gap is due to differences in incomes from private and occupational pensions.

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It is a Government-issued card designed to “fully authenticate your identity”. It holds a person’s name, photograph, signature and PPS number. It is required by those collecting welfare payments and replaced the social services card. The Department of Social Protection has insisted the cards have a legal basis in the Social Welfare Acts and will lead to better and more efficient government services.

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The latest Government report on the risks and challenges facing Ireland in the coming years has pointed to the State's ageing population as a major issue which will put stress on public finances, social welfare and health systems and economic competitiveness.

The National Risk Assessment 2019 has been published by the Department of the Taoiseach today and it looks at risks under five headings: geo-political, economic, social, environmental and technological.

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OPINION: Immediate clarity is needed on the scope, intention and justification for the mishmash that is the Public Services Card. If any lingering doubt remained that Irish citizens need far greater transparency from the State on this regularly morphing, biometric, wannabe national identity card, then the searing presentation in Dublin this week from the UN’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty, Philip Alston, surely has put it to the torch.

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The minister’s plan to tie such payments to the minimum essential standard of living is welcome and progressive, writes Paul Ginnell. Our social welfare system should ensure that everyone, at whatever stage in life and whether working or not, has an income that allows them to live with dignity and take a full part in society.

Our welfare reveals a lot about our values as a society and how we protect those who are vulnerable and those who have medical and care needs.

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A Public Services Card (PSC) is a card issued to help you access a range of public services. It is usually issued when you are allocated a Personal Public Service (PPS) number, which everyone in Ireland needs in order to access social welfare benefits, public services and certain information.

Your MyGovID account allows access to social welfare services including Jobseekers Benefit claims, Maternity Benefit claims, Paternity Benefit claims, Child Benefit claims, as well as to PRSI statements, refund applications and other revenue services.

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