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CSO statistical release, 30 May 2016, 11am

QNHS Pension Provision

Quarter 4 2015

Pension coverage1 for persons in employment (ILO) aged 20 to 69 years
   Q4 2009 Q4 2015
   % %
State  51.2 46.7
  
SexMale53.147.2
Female49.046.2
1Includes occupational pension, personal pension, or both.

47% of persons in employment have pension coverage

Figure 1 Persons in employment (ILO) aged 20 to 69 years with a pension by pension type
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A module on the topic of pension coverage among workers aged 20 to 69 years was included in the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) in the fourth quarter (October – December) of 2015. This report presents the results of that module.

Summary of main results

  • There was a fall in the proportion of workers who had a pension in Quarter 4 2015 compared with the same period in 2009.  In Q4 2015, just under half (47%) of all workers aged between 20 and 69 years had a pension (occupational pension, personal pension or both). This compares with 51% in Quarter 4 2009 and 54% in Quarter 1 2008. See table 1.1.
  • Pension coverage remained lowest among the youngest workers. In Quarter 4 2015, 14.1% of workers aged 20-24 years had a pension while just over one third (36%) of workers aged 25 to 34 years reported having a pension. Pension coverage was greatest among workers aged 35-44 years where total pension coverage was 55.3%. See table 1.1.
  • Three out of every ten self-employed persons had pension coverage in Quarter 4 2015. This compares with 36% in the same period in 2009 and 46% in Quarter 1 2008. In Q4 2015, pension coverage for employees was 50.2%. See table 1.1.
  • In Quarter 4 2015, 73% of workers aged between 20 and 69 years had an occupational pension compared with 77% in Q4 2009. The proportion of workers who had a personal pension in Q4 2015 was 18% while 9% of workers had both an occupational and personal pension in the period. See table 2.1 and figure 1.
  • The proportion of workers with an occupational pension who identified their pension as a ‘defined contribution’ pension was 54% while the remaining 46% of workers with an occupational pension identified their pension as a ‘defined benefit’ pension. See table 2.2 and figure 2.
  • The most common reason given by respondents for not having a pension, reported by 39% of workers, was that they could not afford a pension. In addition, just over one fifth (22%) of workers said that they never got around to organising a pension. See table 3.1.
  • Nearly 70% of workers with no occupational pension coverage stated that their employer does not offer a pension scheme. See table 3.2.
  • In Quarter 4 2015, 68% of workers stated that they expected to retire aged between 60 and 69 years while one in twelve (8%) stated that they had no intention of ever retiring. See table 4.1.
  • In Q4 2015, 42% of workers said that they expected that an occupational or personal pension would be their main source of income when they retired.  The proportion of workers who expected the State social welfare pension to be their main source of income has risen from 26% in Quarter 4 2009 to 36% in the same period of 2015. See table 4.3.

Rates of pension cover

Nearly half of all workers (47%) had a pension (occupational pension, personal pension or both) in Quarter 4 2015.  This represents a drop in pension coverage when compared to a pension coverage rate of 51% in Quarter 4 in 2009 and 54% in Quarter 1 2008. See table 1.1.  However, the fall in pension rates was more significant in certain groups:

  • In Quarter 4 2015, the rate of pension coverage for both males and females aged 20 to 69 years fell when compared to 2009. Pension coverage for males was 47% and for females was 46% in Quarter 4 2015, compared with 53% and 49% respectively in the same period of 2009. See table 1.1.
  • Pension coverage remained lowest among youngest workers. The proportion of workers with pension coverage in the 25 to 34 years age cohort decreased from 49% in Quarter 4 2009 to 36% in the same period of 2015 while the rate of coverage for workers aged between 20 and 24 years was 14% in the same period. See table 1.1.
  • Over half of all workers (52%) in the 30 to 65 years age cohort reported having a pension in Quarter 4 2015 compared with 58% in Quarter 4 2009. See table 1.1.
  • The NACE economic sectors with the largest falls in pension coverage since 2009 were the Transportation and storage (from 55% to 43%), Professional, scientific and technical activities (from 62% to 50%) and Construction (from 44% to 34%) sectors. The highest rates of pension coverage were in the Public administration and defence; compulsory social security (89%), Financial, insurance and real estate activities (75%) and Education (73%) sectors. See table 1.1.
  • Workers whose occupation was classified as Managers, directors and senior officials had the largest fall (from 64% to 53%) in coverage rate among occupational groups. See table 1.1.


Workers with the lowest rate of pension cover in each classification group in Quarter 4 2015 were:

  • Females (46%) - compared to males (47%);
  • Workers aged between 20 and 24 years (14%) - compared to workers aged between 35 and 44 years (55%);
  • Non-Irish nationals (29%) - compared to Irish nationals (49%);
  • Self-employed (30%) - compared to employees (50%);
  • Part-time workers (22%) - compared to full-time workers (55%);
  • Workers employed in the Accommodation and food service activities sector (13%) - compared to workers employed in the Public administration and defence; compulsory social security sector (89%);
  • Workers whose occupation was classified as Sales and customer service (18%) - compared to workers whose occupation is classified as Professionals (75%).
Table 1.1 Pension coverage1 in the State for persons in employment (ILO) aged 20 to 69 years, 2005-2015
     % of persons aged 20 to 69 in employment
    Q1 2005Q4 2005Q1 2007Q1 2008Q4 2009Q4 2015
State 51.955.953.053.651.246.7
Sex       
Male 55.059.555.456.353.147.2
Female 47.751.049.850.049.046.2
Age group       
20-24  22.227.822.627.818.614.1
25-34  50.453.550.148.949.436.1
35-44  61.466.363.261.157.755.3
45-54  60.264.863.565.560.554.4
55-69  52.354.453.555.248.749.3
        
 20-292 34.539.134.936.632.622.1
 30-652 58.962.860.760.657.552.1
Nationality       
Irish nationals 54.058.057.128.254.849.4
Non-Irish nationals 27.532.126.153.628.129.2
ILO Employment Status       
Self employed and Assisting relative 44.848.445.745.836.429.9
Employee  53.557.454.655.554.550.2
Hours of work  
Full-time 57.561.258.458.559.655.0
Part-time 26.529.928.231.723.722.3
NACE Economic Sector       
 AAgriculture, forestry and fishing36.835.736.044.924.128.5
 B-EIndustry60.766.059.761.258.152.1
 FConstruction41.646.144.847.544.034.1
 GWholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles35.139.338.936.229.626.5
 HTransportation and storage 59.660.655.353.354.742.6
 IAccommodation and food service activities20.823.719.922.717.313.1
 JInformation and communication60.967.361.563.558.358.9
 K-LFinancial, insurance and real estate activities78.078.276.580.582.875.2
 MProfessional, scientific and technical activities55.759.556.356.061.549.5
 NAdministrative and support service activities30.237.235.837.929.124.9
 OPublic administration and defence; compulsory social security 91.093.493.093.693.389.1
 PEducation67.472.274.076.175.072.6
 QHuman health and social work activities61.063.059.756.757.358.5
 R-UOther NACE activities 34.234.229.030.227.023.3
Broad occupational group3       
 1.Managers, directors and senior officials :::65.463.953.1
 2.Professionals  :::75.377.174.8
 3.Associate professional and technical :::64.862.660.0
 4.Administrative and secretarial :::61.362.257.1
 5.Skilled trades  :::47.439.533.1
 6.Caring, leisure and other services :::36.338.832.3
 7.Sales and customer service  :::28.924.217.8
 8.Process, plant and machine operatives :::50.440.637.6
 9.Elementary :::33.228.522.3
 Other/Not stated :::***
1Pension coverage includes persons with either an occupational pension, a personal pension, or both.
2These age categories relate to the targets set by the National Pensions Policy Initiative.  
3'Broad occupational group' is classified in accordance with the UK SOC2010 occupation classification. This breakdown is available in this table from Q1 2008 onwards. See Background Notes for more details.
: Not available.  
* Sample occurrence too small for estimation.  
Data may be subject to sampling or other survey errors, which are greater in respect of smaller values or estimates of change.

Types of pension cover

Of those workers who had a pension in Quarter 4 2015, almost three quarters (73%) had an occupational pension, 18% had a personal pension and 9% had both types of pension.  See table 2.1 and figure 1. When compared with the same period in 2009, there was an overall decrease in occupational pension coverage which fell from 77% to 73% while personal pension coverage decreased marginally from 19% in Q4 2009 to 18% in Q4 2015.  The fall in occupational pensions was particularly notable among the following:

  • non-Irish nationals (82% to 72%);
  • workers in the Transportation and storage (80% to 70%) and Financial, insurance and real estate activities (88% to 79%) sectors;
  • workers whose occupation was classified as Associate professional and technical (83% to 75%).

Occupational pensions

In Quarter 4 2015, the economic sectors with the highest rate of occupational pension cover were Public administration and defence; compulsory social security (91%), Education (84%) and Human health and social work activities (81%). See table 2.1.

  • Among occupational groups, Administrative and secretarial (84%) and Elementary (86%) workers were most likely to have an occupational pension. See table 2.1
  • The proportion of workers with an occupational pension who identified their pension as a ‘defined contribution’ pension was 54% while the remaining 46% of workers with an occupational pension identified their pension as a ‘defined benefit’ pension. See table 2.2 and figure 2.
  • Nearly half (46%) of workers with an occupational pension had been members of their pension scheme for less than 10 years, 36% had been members for between 10 and 19 years while 18% had been members for 20 years or more.  See table 2.3.

Personal pensions

  • In Quarter 4 2015, personal pensions were most common among workers in the Agriculture, forestry and fishing (86%), Construction (47%) and the Accommodation and food service activities (44%) sectors. See table 2.1.
  • Among occupational groups, those with the highest rate of personal pensions were classified as Skilled trades (46%) and Managers, directors and senior officials (35%). See table 2.1.
  • Personal pensions were more common among males (25%) than females (11%). See table 2.1.
  • Just over four out of every ten workers (42%) with a personal pension had been members of their pension scheme for less than 10 years, 37% had been members for between 10 and 19 years and nearly one in five (19%) had been members for 20 years or more. See table 2.3.
Table 2.1 Persons in employment (ILO) aged 20 to 69 years with a pension classified by type of pension,Q4 2009 and Q4 2015
          % of persons aged 20 to 69 in employment with a pension
Pension type Occupational Personal Both Total Unweighted
    pension only  pension only     sample1
    Q4 2009Q4 2015 Q4 2009Q4 2015 Q4 2009Q4 2015   Q4 2009Q4 2015
State 76.573.2 18.518.2 4.98.6 100.0 2,6323,120
Sex              
 Male 70.467.6 24.424.5 5.27.9 100.0 1,1811,398
 Female 84.279.8 11.210.8 4.69.4 100.0 1,4511,722
Age group             
 20-24  [91.6][89.7] [5.5][5.2] [2.8][5.1] 100.0 4732
 25-34  85.484.9 11.78.2 3.06.9 100.0 721495
 35-44  75.675.9 20.315.9 4.28.2 100.0 8451,079
 45-54  72.167.0 20.522.1 7.410.9 100.0 679905
 55-69  63.662.7 29.629.3 6.88.0 100.0 340609
Nationality              
 Irish nationals 76.173.2 18.918.1 5.18.7 100.0 2,4582,884
 Non-Irish nationals 82.472.2 14.320.1 3.47.7 100.0 174236
ILO Employment Status              
 Self employed and Assisting relative 6.01.4 93.298.1 0.70.5 100.0 307324
 Employee 86.982.0 7.68.4 5.69.6 100.0 2,3252,796
Hours of Work              
 Full-time 77.173.3 17.817.9 5.18.7 100.0 2,2762,676
 Part-time 71.871.7 24.920.7 3.37.6 100.0 356444
NACE Economic Sector              
 AAgriculture, forestry and fishing 20.912.1 79.185.8 0.02.1 100.0 5787
 B-EIndustry 78.278.9 16.313.0 5.68.1 100.0 358392
 FConstruction52.746.0 43.747.2 3.56.8 100.0 127101
 GWholesale and retail trade; repair of motor              
  vehicles and motorcycles61.065.6 35.029.6 4.14.9 100.0 198231
 HTransportation and storage 79.569.9 16.820.5 3.79.6 100.0 117118
 IAccommodation and food service activities43.152.7 55.343.6 1.63.7 100.0 6455
 JInformation and communication79.474.7 17.015.8 3.69.6 100.0 110161
 K-LFinancial, insurance and real estate activities88.478.9 6.511.0 5.110.1 100.0 207251
 MProfessional, scientific and technical activities57.653.3 36.742.3 5.64.4 100.0 143193
 NAdministrative and support service activities68.666.9 28.131.5 3.31.6 100.0 5457
 OPublic administration and defence; compulsory              
  social security92.590.6 2.60.9 4.98.4 100.0 279320
 PEducation88.584.0 4.73.3 6.712.7 100.0 386476
 QHuman health and social work activities87.281.3 7.37.3 5.411.4 100.0 457596
 R-UOther NACE activities 55.853.9 37.741.4 6.54.8 100.0 7582
Broad occupational group2              
 1.Managers, directors and senior officials 59.557.9 34.035.1 6.57.0 100.0 464278
 2.Professionals  79.276.6 14.411.1 6.512.3 100.0 542981
 3.Associate professional and technical 82.975.2 11.917.0 5.37.8 100.0 374493
 4.Administrative and secretarial 90.884.1 6.87.9 2.58.0 100.0 420459
 5.Skilled trades  51.848.4 44.945.6 3.36.0 100.0 182284
 6.Caring, leisure and other services 84.783.6 10.110.8 5.25.6 100.0 278220
 7.Sales and customer service  74.772.1 21.620.1 3.77.8 100.0 10391
 8.Process, plant and machine operatives 78.372.1 15.721.7 6.06.1 100.0 141166
 9.Elementary 81.386.2 14.57.7 4.26.2 100.0 128137
  Other/Not stated 41.493.6 58.66.4 0.00.0 100.0 1011
1Number of persons aged 20 to 69 years in employment with a pension. 
2'Broad occupational group' is classified in accordance with the UK SOC2010 occupation classification. This breakdown is available in this table from Q12008 onwards. See Background Notes for more details.
Figures in parentheses [ ] indicate percentages based on small numbers, and are, therefore, subject to a wide margin of error. 
Data may be subject to sampling or other survey errors, which are greater in respect of smaller values or estimates of change.   
Table 2.2 Persons with an occupational pension, classified by type of occupational pension, Q4 2015
   % of persons aged 20 to 69 in employment
     Defined BenefitDefined ContributionDon't know1TotalUnweighted sample2
     
State  46.053.80.3100.02,574
Sex        
 Male      
Age Group 
 20-24 ****17
 25-34 38.461.60.0100.0178
 35-44 40.259.40.4100.0338
 45-54 41.458.60.0100.0301
 55-69 48.949.71.4100.0206
 Total 41.458.20.4100.01,040
Female      
  Age Group      
 20-24 ****13
 25-34 41.958.10.0100.0276
 35-44 52.946.80.3100.0585
 45-54 56.043.80.2100.0426
 55-69 54.345.70.0100.0234
  Total 50.549.50.2100.01,534
1Includes those who answered 'Don't know' or 'Not stated'. 
2Number of persons aged 20 to 69, in employment with an occupational pension. 
*Sample occurrence too small for estimation.
Data may be subject to sampling or other survey errors, which are greater in respect of smaller values or estimates of change.

                                             

Type of occupational pensionType of
occupational pension
Q4 2015
Defined
contribution
53.8
Defined
benefit
46
Don't
know
0.3
Table 2.3 Persons with a pension, classified by type of pension and length of time in scheme, Q4 2015
  
  % of persons aged 20 to 69 in employment
    Length of time in scheme  
    Less than 5 years5 to 9 years10 to 14 years15 to 19 years20 years or moreDon't know1TotalUnweighted
     sample2
Occupational pension     
 State 24.121.820.715.717.70.0100.02,574
 Sex         
  Male 24.720.619.815.319.60.0100.01,040
  Female 23.523.121.616.115.70.0100.01,534
Age group  
20-24 [92.9][7.1]0.00.00.00.0100.030
25-34 49.135.813.61.40.00.0100.0454
35-44 21.124.027.222.35.40.0100.0923
45-54 12.214.921.520.231.30.0100.0727
55-69 5.711.117.415.350.50.0100.0440
Personal pension        
State17.923.823.813.519.02.1100.0824
Sex        
Male15.022.222.415.522.82.1100.0471
Female23.226.826.49.711.92.0100.0353
Age group        
20-24 ******100.04
25-34 51.538.19.40.00.01.1100.078
35-44 21.433.428.710.53.92.0100.0246
45-54 12.620.326.617.920.42.3100.0279
55-69 3.210.620.917.645.52.3100.0217
            
1Includes those who answered 'Don't know' or 'Not stated'.
2Number of persons aged 20 to 69 in employment.
* Sample occurrence too small for estimation.
Figures in parentheses [ ] indicate percentages based on small numbers, and are, therefore, subject to a wide margin of error.
The 'Occupational Pension' and 'Personal Pension' categories in this table include respondents with both types of pension.

Workers without a pension

Reasons for not having a pension

All respondents who did not have an occupational or a personal pension were asked to indicate the main reason they did not have a pension.  The most common reason, reported by 39% of respondents, was that they could not afford a pension.  Just over one fifth (22%) of respondents said that they never got around to organising a pension, 9% said that there was no scheme available through work and 13% did not identify any reason for not having a pension.  See table 3.1 and figure 3.

While affordability was the most common reason given by all age groups for not having a pension, a high proportion of workers in the 20 to 24 and the 25 to 34 year age groups who did not have a pension (36% and 31% respectively) reported that the main reason was that they never got around to organising it. See table 3.1.

Among other notable points:

  • Affordability was the main reason given by both full-time (36%) and part-time (44%) workers for not having a pension.  However, full-time workers were more likely than their part-time counterparts to report that they never got around to organising a pension (26% versus 16%). See table 3.1.
  • Among occupational groups, the most common reason for not having a pension given by workers classified as Associate professional and technical (31%) and Professionals (27%) was that they never got around to organising a pension. Affordability was the most common reason given by all other occupational groups. See table 3.1.

Employees without an occupational pension

  • Over two thirds of employees (68%) without an occupational pension said that their employer did not offer a pension scheme. See table 3.2.
  • Nearly 16% of employees who were not members of their employer’s occupational pension scheme were eligible to join the scheme. See table 3.2.
  • A further 6% of employees without an occupational pension were not eligible to join their employer’s occupational pension scheme. See table 3.2.
  • There were differences in the availability of pension schemes depending on the size of the organisation where the employee was working.  Over nine out of ten of all workers (92%) without an occupational pension who worked in an organisation employing less than five people reported that their employer did not offer a pension scheme.  This compares to 44% for persons who worked in organisations employing 500 people or more. See table 3.2.
  • One tenth (10%) of workers without an occupational pension did not know if their employer offered a scheme. See table 3.2.
  • Just over 13% of non-Irish nationals without an occupational pension did not know if their employer offered a pension scheme. This compares with 9% of Irish nationals. See table 3.2.
  • The most common sectors where the employer did not offer a pension scheme for employees were the Construction (84%) and Accommodation and food service activities (77%) sectors. See table 3.3.

 

Table 3.1 Persons in employment (ILO) aged 20 to 69 years without a pension classified by main reason for not having a pension, Q4 2015
         % of persons in employment aged 20-69 without a pension
                 
    Reason for not having a pension  
    Never got around to organising a pension  Too much financial risk involvedNo scheme available through workHave a pension from previous jobOther sources will be adequateSpouse / partner has a good pensionBetter return from other sources    
          
    Don't understand pensionsCan't afford a pension Don't know1 Unweighted sample2
    OtherTotal
      
State  22.14.938.93.89.32.62.31.51.29.34.1100.03,246
Sex             
Male23.04.638.95.07.03.32.70.51.78.74.7100.01,452
Female21.05.238.82.511.91.91.82.70.710.03.5100.01,794
Age group              
20-24 36.010.128.91.37.00.90.60.00.011.14.1100.0196
25-34 30.96.233.92.39.30.60.90.60.810.24.3100.0799
35-44 19.74.242.64.410.41.92.41.80.87.14.6100.0842
45-54 14.02.645.34.210.24.92.82.52.07.83.5100.0765
55-69 10.42.940.66.78.15.85.02.72.211.83.8100.0644
Nationality              
Irish nationals22.24.139.44.39.42.82.41.71.38.83.7100.02,719
Non-Irish nationals21.48.436.51.59.22.01.50.70.911.76.1100.0527
ILO Employment Status              
Self employed and Assisting relative18.33.641.58.42.53.94.72.32.87.74.4100.0788
Employee23.25.238.12.511.32.31.51.30.79.84.0100.02,458
Hours of work              
Full-time25.64.535.75.17.82.82.60.81.69.04.5100.01,936
Part-time 16.15.544.41.511.92.51.62.70.59.83.5100.01,310
NACE economic sector              
 AAgriculture, forestry and fishing 14.06.540.715.01.42.36.12.31.58.41.9100.0245
 B-EIndustry 27.84.035.63.08.03.61.41.90.97.66.3100.0328
 FConstruction 18.23.647.73.28.62.90.90.83.67.13.4100.0187
 GWholesale and retail trade; repair of motor              
  vehicles and motorcycles26.57.437.52.88.81.31.31.10.88.83.7100.0584
 HTransportation and storage  19.35.347.53.66.31.41.00.01.18.26.4100.0147
 IAccommodation and food               
  service activities 23.66.940.70.59.71.53.11.00.68.04.2100.0341
 JInformation and communication 20.71.130.35.28.63.41.21.34.216.17.8100.0104
 K-LFinancial, insurance and real               
  estate activities 20.61.913.88.810.67.46.82.93.513.410.1100.082
 MProfessional, scientific and               
  technical activities 26.62.528.04.110.93.93.21.70.913.44.8100.0185
 NAdministrative and support               
  service activities 16.13.644.82.513.73.20.60.00.79.45.5100.0169
 OPublic administration and defence;               
  compulsory social security [9.0][1.9][46.4][1.4][4.9][10.5][6.4][2.5][2.1][14.9]0.0100.039
 PEducation 15.32.938.71.717.82.53.33.12.111.01.5100.0173
 QHuman health and social work activities18.85.439.83.011.43.12.21.80.210.73.6100.0403
 R-UOther NACE activities  24.72.343.43.810.62.41.32.80.27.21.2100.0259
Broad occupational group3              
 1.Managers, directors and senior officials25.92.831.23.95.76.53.61.74.410.73.8100.0236
 2.Professionals 26.62.122.44.610.93.64.32.42.515.35.1100.0295
 3.Associate professional and technical31.42.627.34.410.54.71.81.81.410.13.9100.0316
 4.Administrative and secretarial15.84.134.82.318.53.51.23.20.211.45.1100.0330
 5.Skilled trades 20.13.943.07.16.22.82.91.51.57.43.5100.0577
 6.Caring, leisure and other services19.34.945.63.212.10.22.22.20.06.83.6100.0410
 7.Sales and customer service 24.68.436.31.79.52.31.40.90.410.34.2100.0362
 8.Process, plant and machine operatives17.33.454.14.84.92.11.30.00.76.84.5100.0246
 9.Elementary20.48.645.31.28.20.61.70.80.88.34.2100.0468
 Other/Not stated***********100.06
1Includes those who answered 'Don't know' or 'Not stated'.
2Number of persons aged 20-69 in employment without a pension.
3'Broad occupational group' is classified in accordance with the UK SOC2010 occupation classification. This breakdown is available in this table from Q1 2008 onwards. See Background Notes for more details.
* Sample occurrence too small for estimation        
Figures in parentheses [ ] indicate percentages based on small numbers, and are, therefore, subject to a wide margin of error.      
Data may be subject to sampling or other survey errors, which are greater in respect of smaller values.
Reasons for not
having a pension
Main reason for not having a pension
Never got around to
organising a pension
22.2
Don't understand pensions4.7
Can't afford a pension38.9
Too much financial
risk involved
3.7
No scheme available
through work
9.2
Have pension from previous job2.7
Other sources will be adequate2.2
Spouse/partner has pension1.5
Better return from other sources1.2
Other9.4
Don't know/not stated4.2
Table 3.2 Employees aged 20 to 69 years who do not have an occupational pension classified by availability of a scheme and their eligibility to join, Q4 2015
     % of employees aged 20-69 who do not have an occupational pension
    Eligibile to join employer's     
    pension scheme    
       Don't know 
      Don't Employer doesif employer Unweighted sample2
    YesNoknow1not offer schemeoffers schemeTotal
State  15.55.90.767.99.9100.02,563
Sex       
Male 17.75.30.666.59.9100.01,007
Female 13.56.50.969.210.0100.01,556
Age group       
20-24  7.16.11.169.116.6100.0181
25-34  16.96.00.765.610.8100.0721
35-44  20.45.70.564.78.7100.0717
45-54  14.15.70.872.27.2100.0564
55-69  11.56.00.674.27.8100.0380
Nationality        
Irish nationals 16.36.20.967.49.2100.02,100
Non-Irish nationals 12.24.50.070.113.2100.0463
Hours of work        
Full-time 20.35.90.663.39.9100.01,488
Part-time 7.85.81.075.410.0100.01,075
Number of people working in the organisation        
1-43.12.20.291.92.6100.0336
5-497.94.00.478.88.9100.01,124
50-9918.04.30.260.616.8100.0277
100-49929.37.92.248.911.8100.0340
500+31.513.01.144.49.9100.0434
 Don't know/Not stated 8.43.10.061.127.4100.052
           
1Includes those who answered 'Don't know' and 'Not stated'.
2Number of employees aged 20-69 who do not have an occupational pension
Data may be subject to sampling or other survey errors, which are greater in respect of smaller values or estimates of change.
Table 3.3 Employees aged 20 to 69 years who do not have an occupational pension classified by availability of a scheme and their eligibility to join, by industry and profession type, Q4 2015
      % of employees aged 20-69 who do not have an occupational pension
     Eligibile to join employer's     
     pension scheme    
        Employer does not offer schemeDon't know if employer offers scheme Unweighted sample2
       Don't 
     YesNoknow1Total
State   15.55.90.767.99.9100.02,563 
NACE economic sector         
 AAgriculture, forestry and fishing*****100.024 
 B-EIndustry21.36.40.858.712.8100.0287
 FConstruction8.22.60.083.85.4100.0110
 GWholesale and retail trade; repair of motor  
  vehicles and motorcycles16.84.00.965.912.5100.0523
 HTransportation and storage 21.114.71.153.010.1100.091
 IAccommodation and food service activities5.62.50.677.114.1100.0305
 JInformation and communication33.17.00.055.14.8100.093
 K-LFinancial, insurance and real estate activities27.213.81.051.16.8100.078
 MProfessional, scientific and technical activities25.16.60.462.25.7100.0165
 NAdministrative and support service activities11.73.50.674.89.4100.0156
 OPublic administration and defence; compulsory  
  social security[24.7][20.4][0.0][48.0][6.9]100.039
 PEducation14.212.61.168.33.8100.0134
 QHuman health and social work activities12.57.61.170.28.6100.0374
 R-UOther NACE activities 8.23.00.379.58.8100.0184
Broad occupational group3         
1.Managers, directors and senior officials 28.25.80.061.24.9100.0133
2.Professionals  26.79.50.454.29.2100.0260
3.Associate professional and technical 23.28.30.063.15.4100.0265
4.Administrative and secretarial 16.08.61.664.79.1100.0322
5.Skilled trades  13.33.50.374.78.1100.0257
 6.Caring, leisure and other services 6.87.21.075.010.0100.0348
 7.Sales and customer service  14.52.81.267.414.2100.0344
 8.Process, plant and machine operatives 14.07.00.568.410.1100.0185
 9.Elementary 9.63.60.873.312.7100.0445
  Other/Not stated ******4
1Includes those who answered 'Don't know' or 'Not stated'. 
2Number of employees aged 20-69 who do not have an occupational pension.
3'Broad occupational group' is classified in accordance with the UK SOC2010 occupation classification. This breakdown is available in this table from Q1 2008 onwards. See Background Notes for more details.
* Sample occurrence too small for estimation.   
Figures in parentheses [ ] indicate percentages based on small numbers, and are, therefore, subject to a wide margin of error.   
Data may be subject to sampling or other survey errors, which are greater in respect of smaller values or estimates of change.

Retirement

Expected retirement age

The majority of workers (68%) expected to retire when they will be aged between 60 and 69 years, 13% of respondents did not know when they would retire, while 8% said that they had no intention of ever retiring. See table 4.1.

  • Nearly four fifths of workers (79%) who had a pension expected to retire aged between 60 and 69 years compared to 58% of workers without a pension who expected to retire within this same age bracket. See table 4.1.
  • Nearly one fifth of workers (19%) without a pension did not know when they would retire. See table 4.1.
  • Just over one quarter of self-employed persons stated that they had no intention of ever retiring compared to 5% of employees who said that they had no intention of ever retiring. See table 4.1.
  • Workers in the Agriculture, forestry and fishing economic sector (35%) were most likely to report that they did not ever intend to retire. See table 4.1.
  • Almost one quarter of workers (24%) in the Accommodation and food service activities sector stated that did not know when they would retire. See table 4.1.
  • Although they were close to, or at the traditional retirement age, 7% of workers aged between 55 and 69 did not know when they would retire.  A further 15% of workers within this age cohort said they had no intention of ever retiring from paid work. See table 4.1.
  • Just over 5% of workers expect to retire before turning 60 years of age. See table 4.1.


Respondents who gave their expected retirement age were asked to indicate the main reason they expected to retire at that age.  The most common reason given by one fifth (21%) of respondents was that it was the age at which people usually retire.  See table 4.2.

  • 17% of workers said that they chose their expected age of retirement because it was the age they would be able to afford to retire. See table 4.2.
  • 15% of workers stated that it was because of their employer’s rules on retirement age. See table 4.2.
  • 13% indicated that it was the age at which they would start to receive the State social welfare pension. See table 4.2.
  • 8% said that they chose their expected age of retirement because of personal reasons. See table 4.2.
  • 1% said it was when their partner/spouse would start to receive their pension. See table 4.2.
  • 21% said they did not know or did not identify a reason. See table 4.2.


There were some differences between employees and self-employed workers in the reasons they gave for the age they expected to retire.  Employees were most likely to cite employer’s rules on retirement age (18%) or usual retirement age (23%) and less likely to give affordability (16%) as the main reason for their expected retirement age.  However, affordability was the most common reason given by one fifth (20%) of self-employed workers for their expected retirement age. See table 4.2.


The most common reason given by over one fifth (21%) of full-time workers for their expected retirement age was that it was the age when people usually retire.  One in five (20%) of part-time workers also stated that this was the reason for their expected age of retirement. A further one fifth (20%) of part-time workers said that it was the age at which they would receive the State social welfare pension, compared with 11% of full-time workers, who gave this reason for their expected retirement age. See table 4.2.


One in five workers who did not have a pension reported that their main reason for their expected retirement age was because that was when they would receive the State social welfare pension.  This compares with only 6% of workers who had a pension. See table 4.2.

Expected main source of retirement income

In Quarter 4 2015, 42% of workers expected that an occupational or personal pension would be their main source of income when they retired compared to 41% of workers in the same period of 2009. See table 4.3 and figure 5.

Between Quarter 4 of 2009 and 2015:

  • The proportion of workers who expected the State social welfare pension to be their main source of income rose from 26% to 36%. See table 4.3.
  • Workers who did not know what their main source of retirement income would be decreased from 20% to 8%. See table 4.3.
  • There was no change in the percentage of workers who expected savings, investments or sale of assets to be their main source of income (7% in both Q4 2009 and Q4 2015). See table 4.3.
  • The percentage of workers who expected that their spouse/partner’s occupational or personal pension would be their main source of retirement income increased marginally from 5% in Q4 2009 to 6% in the same period of 2015. See table 4.3.


In Quarter 4 2015, over three quarters (76%) of workers who were members of an occupational or personal pension scheme expected their pension to be their main source of retirement income while 12% of workers without a pension did not know what their main source of retirement income would be.  There was a substantial increase in the percentage of workers without a pension who expected that the State social welfare pension would be their main source of income when they retired, from 43% in Q4 2009 to 57% in Q4 2015. This compares with 12% of workers who had pension coverage. See table 4.3.

  • Almost one in ten (9%) female workers expected their spouse/partner’s occupational or personal pension to be their main source of retirement income, compared with 2% of males. See table 4.3.
  • Nearly half of workers (48%) in the 55 to 69 years age group expected the main source of their retirement income to be the State social welfare pension.  A further 37% expected their occupational or personal pension to be their main source of income.  In Quarter 4 2009, 34% of workers in this 55 to 69 years age group expected their occupational or personal pension to be their main source of retirement income, while 44% expected that the main source of their retirement income would be the State social welfare pension. See table 4.3.
  • One third of workers (33%) in the 25 to 34 years age group expect that the State social welfare pension will be their main source of income on retirement. See table 4.3.
  • The most common source of expected retirement income reported by over half of all part-time workers was the State social welfare pension (54%). See table 4.3.
  • Half (50%) of all full-time workers stated that their expected main source of retirement income would be their occupational or personal pension. This figure compares with just 18% of part-time workers. See table 4.3.
  • Nearly half of employees (45%) stated that their main source of income on retirement would be their occupational or personal pension, compared with one quarter (25%) of self-employed workers. See table 4.3.
  • Over one third (35%) of employees expect that the State social welfare pension will be their main source of income on retirement. This compares with 43% of self-employed persons. See table 4.3.
  • 16% of self-employed workers expect that savings, investments or sale of assets will be their main source of retirement income, compared with 5% of employees. See table 4.3.
Table 4.1 Age of expected retirement of persons in employment (ILO) aged 20 to 69 years, Q4 2015
            
        % of persons aged 20-69 in employment
    Age of expected retirement from paid work  
    Age GroupNo intention to ever retireDon't know1Unweighted sample2
  <5050-5960-6970+Total
State 0.45.067.95.88.112.7100.06,366
Pension status         
Has occupational or personal pension or both 0.67.478.84.13.65.5100.03,123
Does not have an occupational or personal pension0.32.958.37.312.019.1100.03,243
Sex         
 Male0.53.966.67.910.310.8100.02,850
Female 0.36.369.43.45.515.0100.03,516
Age group        
20-24 0.03.253.27.44.132.1100.0228
25-34 0.95.767.34.25.716.1100.01,294
35-44 0.66.769.55.55.612.0100.01,921
45-54 0.05.371.34.79.78.9100.01,670
55-69 0.01.166.99.715.27.1100.01,253
Nationality        
Irish nationals0.45.268.85.98.111.6100.05,603
Non-Irish nationals0.63.561.75.58.420.4100.0763
ILO Employment Status        
Self employed and Assisting relative0.22.844.413.825.213.6100.01,112
Employee0.55.572.84.14.612.6100.05,254
Hours of work        
Full-time0.55.269.85.87.710.9100.04612
Part-time 0.14.362.15.99.318.2100.01754
NACE Economic Sector        
AAgriculture, forestry and fishing0.91.534.314.934.613.7100.0332
 B-EIndustry0.23.074.35.45.511.6100.0720
FConstruction1.62.362.77.812.413.1100.0288
GWholesale and retail trade; repair of motor         
 vehicles and motorcycles0.53.066.26.46.917.0100.0815
HTransportation and storage 0.02.270.05.313.98.5100.0265
IAccommodation and food service activities0.03.059.34.68.924.2100.0396
JInformation and communication0.86.072.06.05.79.5100.0265
K-LFinancial, insurance and real estate activities0.28.974.56.43.56.5100.0333
MProfessional, scientific and technical activities0.52.271.58.28.49.1100.0378
NAdministrative and support service activities0.04.666.44.77.716.7100.0226
OPublic administration and defence; compulsory         
 social security1.416.375.11.60.35.3100.0359
PEducation0.111.071.74.93.88.4100.0649
QHuman health and social work activities0.25.076.92.63.312.0100.0999
 R-UOther NACE activities 0.43.356.37.514.418.1100.0341
1Includes those who answered 'Don't know' or 'Not stated'.
2Number of persons aged 20-69 in employment.
Data may be subject to sampling or other survey errors, which are greater in respect of smaller values or estimates of change.
Age GroupEmployer rules on retirement ageWill receive social welfare pensionWill be able to afford to retireThat is when people usually retireThat is when partner/spouse receives pensionPersonal reasonsOtherDon't know
20-24 age group4.28.81024.5010.64.337.6
25-34 age group12.113.215.526.40.36.33.622.6
35-44 age group16.210.420.223.4182.618.2
45-54 age group17.515.217.917.31.18.73.119
55-69 age group19.117.812.912.90.910.43.722.4
Table 4.2 Reason for expected age of retirement of persons in employment (ILO) aged 20 to 69 years, Q4 2015
       % of persons aged 20-69 in employment
    Reason for expected age of retirement from paid work 
    Employer rules on retirement ageWill receive social welfare pensionWill be able to afford to retire It is when people usually retireIt's when partner/spouse receives pension     
    Personal reasonsOtherDon't know1 Unweighted
    Totalsample2
State 15.213.416.621.10.88.33.321.4100.06,366
Expected age of retirement           
 <50 ********100.022
 50-59 8.71.643.14.00.830.311.30.2100.0340
 60-69 21.219.018.029.61.17.52.80.8100.04,389
70+ 5.26.835.212.80.026.512.70.8100.0359
 No intention to ever retire 0.00.00.30.00.00.10.798.9100.0518
 Don't know1 0.00.00.00.00.00.00.0100.0100.0738
Sex           
Male16.013.115.822.00.98.23.021.0100.03,516
Female14.613.617.420.20.78.43.521.7100.02,850
Age group           
20-24 4.28.810.024.50.010.64.337.6100.0228
25-34 12.113.215.526.40.36.33.622.6100.01,294
35-44 16.210.420.223.41.08.02.618.2100.01,921
45-54 17.515.217.917.31.18.73.119.0100.01,670
55-69 19.117.812.912.90.910.43.722.4100.01,253
Nationality          
Irish nationals 16.213.717.420.10.88.33.220.2100.05,603
Non-Irish nationals 8.611.311.327.20.47.83.929.5100.0763
ILO Employment Status           
Self employed and Assisting relative 0.713.419.510.71.111.14.239.3100.01,112
Employee  18.213.316.023.20.77.73.117.7100.05,254
Hours of work           
Full-time 17.711.318.521.30.68.33.119.2100.04,612
Part-time 7.819.511.220.31.28.33.728.1100.01,754
Pension status           
 Has occupational or personal pension or both27.56.222.721.40.89.03.09.5100.03,123
 Does not have a pension 4.519.611.420.70.87.73.531.8100.03,243
              
1Includes those who answered 'Don't know' or 'Not stated'.
2Number of persons aged 20-69 in employment.
*Sample occurrence too small for estimation.
Data may be subject to sampling or other survey errors, which are greater in respect of smaller values or estimates of change.
Table 4.3 Persons in employment (ILO) aged 20 to 69 years classified by main expected source of income on retirement, Q4 2009 and Q4 2015  
             % of persons aged 20-69 in employment
    Occupational or personal pensionSpouse or partner's occupational or personal pensionState social welfare pensionSavings or investments, sale of business, farm or other property      
          
      Don’t know1Unweighted sample2
 Other
Expected main source of income on retirement Q4 2009Q4 2015Q4 2009Q4 2015Q4 2009Q4 2015Q4 2009Q4 2015Q4 2009Q4 2015Q4 2009Q4 2015Q4 2009Q4 2015
                  
State 40.841.65.45.525.836.27.16.80.82.020.27.85,0176,366
Pension status              
Has occupational or personal pension or both72.575.84.94.49.612.34.14.10.50.58.53.02,6323,123
Does not have an occupational or personal pension7.611.65.96.442.757.210.39.21.23.432.512.12,3853,243
Sex              
Male44.343.81.62.124.036.39.18.71.12.119.97.02,8302,850
Female36.839.19.79.327.836.14.74.60.51.920.58.92,1873,516
Age group              
20-24 24.823.61.71.516.029.15.57.30.04.252.134.4252228
25-34 42.240.34.24.018.933.27.48.20.62.726.711.61,4341,294
35-44 43.948.16.56.425.031.77.26.80.91.516.65.41,4681,921
45-54 45.643.07.17.028.738.66.85.90.92.010.93.51,1501,670
55-69 34.337.15.45.444.147.87.65.81.51.27.12.67131,253
Nationality              
Irish nationals43.643.65.65.826.935.87.26.50.71.516.06.74,4055,603
Non-Irish nationals22.828.63.63.118.038.66.68.91.25.647.815.3612763
Hours of work              
Full-time48.049.53.83.620.730.47.67.50.71.919.27.13,7014,612
Part-time17.118.210.511.042.353.55.54.91.12.523.49.91,3161,754
ILO Employment Status              
Self employed and Assisting relative27.725.24.76.528.442.718.816.11.33.219.16.38501,112
Employee43.745.05.55.325.234.94.54.90.71.820.48.24,1675,254
                  
1Includes those who answered 'Don't know' or 'Not stated'.   
2Number of persons aged 20-69 in employment.   
Data may be subject to sampling or other survey errors, which are greater in respect of smaller values or estimates of change.
""
Expected source of income on retirementQ4 2015
Occupational or personal pension41.6
Spouse/partner's occupational or personal pension5.5
State social welfare pension36.2
Savings/investments/sale of business, farm or property 6.8
Other 2
Don't know7.8
Annex 1.1 Unweighted sample for persons in employment (ILO) aged 20 to 69 years, 2005-20151
    Q1 2005Q4 2005Q1 2007Q1 2008Q4 2009Q4 2015
State 15,90115,15212,7185,8555,0176,366
Sex      
Male7,8207,2465,9942,6782,1872,850
Female8,0817,9066,7243,1772,8303,516
Age group      
20-24 1,304959803328252228
25-34 3,9433,5903,0111,3061,4341,294
35-44 4,6044,5143,5971,7071,4681,921
45-54 3,8233,7993,2171,4941,1501,670
55-69 2,2272,2902,0901,0207131,253
       
 20-2923,0672,4312,153928872665
 30-65212,66812,58310,4124,8494,1035,587
Nationality      
Irish nationals14,78614,10011,4415,2414,4055,603
Non-Irish nationals1,1151,0521,277614612763
ILO Employment Status      
Self employed and Assisting relative2,8142,5632,2631,2198501,112
Employee 13,08712,58910,4554,6364,1675,254
Hours of work      
Full-time12,43411,8739,8354,4513,7014,612
Part-time3,4673,2792,8831,4041,3161,754
NACE Economic Sector       
 AAgriculture, forestry and fishing881770749386230332
 B-EIndustry2,2312,0151,723746600720
 FConstruction1,2871,2001,151471283288
 GWholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles1,9571,8901,582750634815
 HTransportation and storage 740714567246211265
 IAccommodation and food service activities902773666312338396
 JInformation and communication559545348146180265
 K-LFinancial, insurance and real estate activities793799555277251333
 MProfessional, scientific and technical activities860718564300239378
 NAdministrative and support service activities551549437242176226
 OPublic administration and defence; compulsory social security873982732358300359
 PEducation1,3471,4161,240549509649
 QHuman health and social work activities1,9361,9281,791783790999
 R-UOther NACE activities 984853613289276341
Broad occupational group       
 1.Managers, directors and senior officials :::382349514
 2.Professionals  :::1,0449961,276
 3.Associate professional and technical :::557491809
 4.Administrative and secretarial :::843724789
 5.Skilled trades  :::1,023711861
 6.Caring, leisure and other services :::507490630
 7.Sales and customer service  :::411381453
 8.Process, plant and machine operatives :::420294412
 9.Elementary :::656571605
  Other/Not stated    121017
1Results from 2005 to 2008 are based on seasonal QNHS quarters. The 2009 survey was conducted after the introduction of calendar
quarters to the QNHS.
2These age categories relate to the targets set by the National Pensions Policy Initiative.
3'Broad occupational group' is classified in accordance with the UK SOC2010 occupation classification. This breakdown is available in this table
from Q1 2008 onwards. See Background Notes for more details.
: Not available.       

Background Notes

Questionnaire and sample design  

Reference period

A module on pensions was included in the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) in the three months from October to December 2015 (Quarter 4).

Prior to the Quarter 4 2015 module, the most recent module on pension provision was carried out in 2009 (Quarter 4). In 2009, the QNHS moved from seasonal to calendar quarters and the Quarter 4 2009 pensions module was conducted from October to December 2009. Questions on pension provision were also included in the QNHS in 2005, 2007 and 2008 when the QNHS was carried out on a seasonal quarter basis. Questions on pension provision were included in the QNHS in the three months from December to February 2005, 2007 and 2008.  A module on pensions was also included in the three months from September to November 2005.

Purpose of survey

The QNHS began in September 1997, replacing the annual April Labour Force Survey (LFS). The purpose of the survey is the production of quarterly labour force estimates and occasional reports on special social topics. The survey meets the requirements of Council Regulation (EC) No. 577/98, adopted in March 1998, which requires the introduction of quarterly labour force surveys in EU member states.

For further details on the QNHS, see: http://www.cso.ie/en/qnhs/abouttheqnhs/

Questionnaire  

The Pensions questionnaire was answered by all persons aged 20 to 69 years who were in employment in the reference week.  The module was included on waves 2 to 5 of the QNHS sample. The section on 'Sample Design' below details how the sample was selected.

The module results are based on responses from 6,366 respondents.

A copy of the questionnaire used in this module is available on the CSO website at QNHS Pensions Module Questionnaire Q4 2015 (PDF 447KB) .

Individual reference person

The QNHS Pensions Module was asked of one reference person in each participating household, who was in employment, and aged between 20 and 69 years on waves 2 to 5.

Data collection

Information is collected on laptop computers, using computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI) software.

Sample design

A two-stage sample design is used. A new sample was introduced in Q4 2012 following the 2011 Census of Population. The sample frame of households is clustered into blocks (small areas) with each block containing a minimum of 60 occupied households on the night of the 2011 Census of Population. The sample frame is stratified using administrative county and population density. In the first stage, 1,300 blocks are selected using Probability Proportional to Size (PPS) sampling and in the second stage, 20 households are selected using Simple Random Sampling (SRS). This ensures that each household in the sample frame has an equal probability of selection and results in a total quarterly sample of 26,000 households. The actual achieved sample varies over time depending on the level of response.

Each household selected for the QNHS is surveyed for five consecutive quarters. The first quarter that a household is surveyed is referred to as wave one, the second wave two etc. When households have been surveyed for five consecutive quarters, they are then replaced by other households in the same block. Thus, one fifth of the households in the survey are replaced each quarter and the QNHS sample involves an overlap of 80% between consecutive quarters and 20% between the same quarter in consecutive years. As the new sample based on the 2011 Census of Population was introduced incrementally across each quarter from Q4 2012 to Q4 2013, the new sample is fully effective from Q4 2013.

Householders are not asked to participate in the module in their first quarter participating in the survey. This is primarily to minimise response burden on the householders.

The survey results are weighted to agree with population estimates broken down by age, sex and region and are also calibrated to nationality control totals.  The population estimates for April of each year are published in a separate release: http://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/er/pme/populationandmigrationestimatesapril2015/

Statistical significance

All estimates based on sample surveys are subject to error, some of which is measurable. Where an estimate is statistically significantly different from another estimate, it means that we can be 95% confident that differences between those two estimates are not due to sampling error.  Unless otherwise stated, changes and differences mentioned in the text have been found to be statistically significant at the 95% confidence level.

Reliability of estimates presented

In general for QNHS modules, estimates of the number of persons where there are fewer than 30 persons in a cell are too small to be considered reliable. These estimates are presented with an asterisk (*) in the relevant tables.

Where there are 30-49 persons in a cell, estimates are considered to have a wide margin of error and should be treated with caution. These cells are presented with parentheses [ ].

Note on tables

The row or column percentages in tables may not add to 100% due to rounding.

Pension cover  

Through the State Social Welfare system, people are entitled to a basic flat rate pension. See the note on 'State Pensions' below. However, in many cases, there is a need for additional pension cover if the standard of living enjoyed while at work is to be maintained into retirement.  This additional or supplementary cover is provided through occupational pension schemes and/or personal pension arrangements.  It is this additional cover which is the focus of this survey.  The survey results presented in this statistical release do not cover pensions paid through the State Social Welfare system.

State pensions

The State currently provides two types of retirement pension: State Pension (Contributory) and State Pension (Non-Contributory).

The State pension age is currently age 66, but this is changing in the coming years. The Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2011 made a number of changes to the qualifying age for State pensions. The qualifying age will rise to 67 in 2021 and 68 in 2028.

  • If you were born on or after 1 January 1955 the minimum qualifying State pension age will be 67
  • If you were born on or after 1 January 1961 the minimum qualifying State pension age will be 68

The State Pension (Contributory) is payable at age 66 (age 67 from 2021, age 68 from 2028) to people who have enough Irish social insurance contributions and is not means-tested.

The State Pension (Non-Contributory) previously known as the Old Age (Non-Contributory) Pension is payable at age 66 (age 67 from 2021, age 68 from 2028). The means-tested State Pension (Non-Contributory) is a payment for people aged 66 and over who do not qualify for a State Pension (Contributory) or who only qualify for a reduced contributory pension based on their PRSI contribution record.

Occupational pension scheme

Occupational pension schemes refer to employer-sponsored occupational pension schemes or relevant public sector scheme. There are two types of occupational pension scheme:

Defined contribution - employee's pension contributions are put into a fund, the value of which changes over time. The pension will depend on the size of this fund when the person retires. These type of pensions are sometimes called ‘defined contribution’ or ‘money purchase’.

Defined benefit - the employee's pension is based on a formula involving age, years of service and salary. These type of pensions are sometimes called ‘defined benefit‘.

The corresponding question asked on the QNHS Pensions Module questionnaire was as follows:

Please look at the pensions described on this showcard. Is your pension more like Type A or Type B?

  1. Type A: My pension contributions are put into a fund, the value of which changes over time. My pension will depend on the size of this fund when I retire. These type of pensions are sometimes called ‘defined contribution’ or ‘money purchase’.
  2. Type B: My pension will be based on a formula involving age, years of service and salary. These type of pensions are sometimes called ‘defined benefit‘. 
  3. Don't know

It should be noted that in previous pension modules, a small number of self-employed respondents who had an occupational pension were not included in the overall rate of pension cover.  The series has been revised from 2005 to include these cases in the overall pension rate. Previously published figures for 2002 and 2004 are not directly comparable to the revised series.

Personal pension scheme

If a person is not covered by an occupational pension scheme, s/he may be able to take out a personal private pension scheme, also known as a retirement annuity contract (RAC)1. In fact, persons with occupational pension coverage may also have a personal private pension.

1A Retirement Annuity Contract “RAC” is the formal name for what is more commonly called a personal pension. An RAC is an individual defined contribution pension arrangement.

National Pensions Policy Initiative (NPPI)

The National Pensions Policy Initiative was launched in October 1996 to facilitate debate on how to achieve a fully developed national pension system and to formulate a strategy and make recommendations for actions needed to achieve this system. For more information, please refer to:

http://www.pensionsauthority.ie/en/publications/information_booklets/securing_retirement_income1.pdf

One of the targets of this Initiative was that supplementary pension coverage would be needed for 70% of the working population aged 30 years and over by the year 2013.


National Pensions Framework

The National Pensions Framework was published on 3 March 2010 and sets out the Government’s plans for reform of the Irish pension system. It encompasses all aspects of pensions, from social welfare to private occupational pensions and public sector pension reform and is available at: http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/234_National-Pensions-Framework.aspx

Development of the Framework was informed by the range of views raised during the Green Paper consultation process. The Green Paper (published in October 2007) sets out the position in relation to social welfare, occupational, personal and public service pensions and is available at: http://www.welfare.ie/en/downloads/greenpaper.pdf

Pensions Authority

The Pensions Authority (formerly known as the Pensions Board) provides for the proper administration of pension schemes and the protection of pension rights for people living in Ireland. The Authority is the regulatory body for occupational pension schemes and Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSAs) and also has a role in the development of pension policy in general. Under the Social Welfare and Pensions (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013, the Pensions Board was renamed the Pensions Authority and its Chief Executive became the Pensions Regulator. These changes took effect from 7 March 2014.

Classifications used

NACE industrial classification

The QNHS sectoral employment figures are based on the EU NACE Rev. 2 (Nomenclature statistique des activités économiques dans la Communauté européenne) classification as defined in Council Regulation (EC) no 1893/2006.  Fourteen NACE sub-categories are distinguished in this release. From Q1 2009, NACE Rev. 2 has been adopted as the primary classification of industrial sectors for use in QNHS outputs. From Q4 1997 to Q4 2008, the NACE Rev. 1.1 classification had been in use.

NACE Rev. 2 classification is more detailed than the NACE Rev. 1.1 classification. In particular more sections are now identified for services activities with the aim of better capturing economic activity within services. In cases where there is a direct one to one correspondence (e.g. section H ‘Hotels and restaurants’ in NACE Rev. 1.1 directly corresponds to section I ‘Accommodation and food service activities’ sector in NACE Rev. 2) then the two different series can be expected to be broadly comparable.

However, the series will not be exactly the same, as the process of applying NACE Rev. 2 involved a very detailed recoding process whereby the new NACE classification was applied to each record in each quarter. The detailed nature of this process means it should be expected that even in the case of a one-to-one correspondence between a NACE Rev. 2 and NACE Rev. 1.1 section; minor differences in the level of the estimates may be seen.

Occupation classification

As a result of changes to the European regulations governing the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (implemented in Ireland using the QNHS), the CSO is obliged to report occupational coding data to Eurostat based on the new Europe-wide classification ISCO-08 from Q1 2011 onwards. To allow this requirement to be met, the CSO has changed to using UK SOC2010 as the primary classification used in collecting the data. ISCO-08 is then derived from UK SOC2010.

The previously used classification for publication purposes in Ireland was UK SOC1990 and this cannot be directly compared to the new UK SOC2010 classification as all occupations have been reclassified accordingly.  This newer classification reflects the evolution over a period of time of certain occupational areas which were developing rapidly, both in terms of their scale and the complexity of work organisation.

Further information regarding SOC 2010 is available at the following link: http://www.cso.ie/shorturl.aspx/104

ILO labour force classification

The primary classification used for the QNHS results is the ILO (International Labour Office) labour force classification.  Labour Force Survey data on this basis have been published since 1988.  The ILO classification distinguishes the following main subgroups of the population aged 15 or over as follows:

Persons who worked in the week before the survey for one hour or more for payment or profit, including work on the family farm or business and all persons who had a job but were not at work because of illness, holidays etc. in the week.

The ILO classification distinguishes the following main subgroups of the population aged 15 or over:

In employment:
Persons who worked in the week before the survey for one hour or more for payment or profit, including work on the family farm or business and all persons who had a job but were not at work because of illness, holidays etc. in the week.

Unemployed:
Persons aged 15 to 74 years who, in the week before the survey, were without work and available for work within the next two weeks, and had taken specific steps, in the preceding four weeks, to find work. It should be noted that as per Eurostat’s operational implementation, the upper age limit for classifying a person as unemployed is 74 years.

Inactive population (not in labour  force):
All other persons.

The labour force comprises persons employed plus unemployed.

Full-time / part-time employment

Whether a respondent is described as in full-time or part-time employment is self determined. The respondent's answer to the following question is used:

“Thinking about the hours of work in the job, would you describe it as full-time or part-time?”

 

QNHS social modules

While the main purpose of the QNHS is the production of quarterly labour force estimates, there is also a provision for the collection of data on social topics through the inclusion of special survey modules. The selection of the major national modules undertaken to date has been largely based on the results of a canvass of users (over 100 organisations) that was conducted by the CSO in 1996, 2002, 2006, 2008 and most recently 2011. The results of the canvass are presented to the National Statistics Board and they are asked to indicate their priorities for the years ahead.

The schedule for social modules in any given year is based on the following structure:

Quarter 1   Accidents and Illness module and  Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Survey

Quarter 2   EU module (always covered under EU legislation)

Quarter 3   National module

Quarter 4   National module

The table below outlines the social modules published to date in the QNHS

Reference quarter                Social module

Q3 2014                                Equality Module

Q2 2014                                Environment Module

Q3 2013                                Volunteering and Wellbeing Module

Q2 2013                                Sports Module

Q2 2012                                Retirement Planning

Q2 2012                                Parental Involvement in Children’s Education

Q3 2012                                Effect on Households of the Economic Downturn

Q2 2010                                Cross Border Shopping

Q2 2010                                Educational Attainment

Q1 2010                               Crime and Victimisation

Q3 2009                                Caring

Q2 2009                                Union Membership

Q2 2009                                Cross Border Shopping

Q3 2008                                Lifelong learning

Q1 2008                               Pension provision

Q4 2007                               Childcare

Q3 2007                                Health

Q2 2007                                Union Membership

Q1 2007                                Work-related Accidents and Illnesses (Q1 2003 – Q1 2007)

Q1 2007                                ICT household survey

Q4 2006                                Crime and Victimisation

Q3 2006                                Sport and physical exercise

Q1 2006                                ICT household survey

Q4 2005                                Pension provision

Q4 2005                                Special Saving Incentive Accounts (SSIAs)

Q3 2005                                ICT household survey

Q3 2005                                Recycling and energy conservation

Q2 2005                                Reconciliation between work and family life

Q2 2005                                Educational attainment

Q1 2005                                Childcare

Q4 2004                                Equality

Q3 2004                                ICT household survey

Q2 2004                                Union Membership

Q2 2004                                Work organisation and working time

Q4 2003                                Crime and Victimisation

Q3 2003                                Housing

Q3 2003                                ICT household survey

                

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