Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Ceisteanna (57)

Willie O'Dea


57. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her plans to introduce an auto-enrolment scheme in view of the fact that the proposals put forward by her Department were criticised during the public consultation process; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8050/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

As previously announced the Government intends to introduce Automatic Enrolment  by the end of 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.

Delivering on a commitment made in the Government’s Roadmap for Pensions Reform 2018-2023, I launched a ‘Strawman Proposal for a new Automatic Enrolment (AE) Retirement Savings System in Ireland' last August as the basis for a national public consultation process on AE. 

I have said that the Strawman should not, in any way, be construed as a confirmation of what form Automatic Enrolment will ultimately take. 

It is a high level draft intended to generate and prompt discussion and improve ideas.  Given AE represents a most complex public policy reform, it is to be expected that we will hear a diverse and often competing range of views as to how the system might be delivered.  Overall the responses to the Strawman have been positive and constructive.  In the vast majority of cases our proposals were welcomed as a strong first step in the reform process of developing an AE system.  

In excess of one hundred written submissions were received in response to the Strawman from employer and employee representatives, pensions industry bodies, advocate groups and interested individuals.  My officials have met with many of these groups.  I have also chaired a number of public consultation seminars held in Dublin, Galway and Cork.

My Department continues to analyse the substantial material contained within the submissions.  It is anticipated that a report of findings from the process will be brought to Government over the coming months.  This report will assist the Government in making decisions as to the next steps in terms of the implementation of AE to enable the scheme to commence in 2022.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.