As stated in the 'The Roadmap for Pensions Reform', the Government proposes to begin implementation of a supplementary retirement savings system, known as Automatic Enrolment, by 2022. It will see employees without personal retirement savings automatically enrolled into a quality assured retirement savings system, with freedom of choice to opt-out.
In August 2018 the Government published a ‘Strawman’ proposal for an Automatic Enrolment (AE) retirement savings system in Ireland as the basis of a national consultation process. The Strawman was not to be read as a confirmation of what form AE will ultimately take but a high level draft intended to generate and prompt discussion and improve ideas.
In excess of one hundred written submissions were received in response to the Strawman from employer and employee representatives, pensions industry bodies, advocacy groups and interested individuals. In addition a number of public consultation seminars, chaired by the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, were held in Dublin, Galway and Cork. Most recently, in March, a series of focus groups was held with the target population for automatic enrolment.
My Department is continuing to analyse the substantial material collated from the consultation process, in order to determine how the feedback received may assist with the design process. Furthermore, my Department is continuing its research and consultation with experts from around the world. My Department has also commissioned the ESRI to examine the potential macro and micro-economic impacts of automatic enrolment.
It is anticipated that reports of findings from the consultation process and the research being undertaken will be brought to Government in the coming months. Subject to agreement at Cabinet, I intend to then publish these reports on the Department's website. These reports will assist the Government in making decisions as to the next steps for implementation to enable the scheme to commence, as planned, in 2022.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.