Taoiseach announces centre-piece of his national pension plan

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced that all workers will be auto-enrolled into a pension scheme in just over three years’ time.

Mr Varadkar has used a speech to the employers’ group IBEC tonight to announce the centre-piece of an upcoming national pension plan.

The Taoiseach told the audience that two-thirds of private sector workers in Ireland have no pension and it is time to defuse the time bomb.

He said: “This issue has been long-fingered for too long, and now that the economy is recovering strongly we must act decisively, and we will publish a five year roadmap for pension reform before the end of the year.

“I anticipate the first payments being made into those new individually held funds by 2021.”

Mr Varadkar also used the speech to announce upcoming legislation to outlaw so-called zero hour contracts.

He also had this to say on the Universal Social Charge.

He said: “So we’ve taken the decision, rather than abolishing the USC outright, that we will merge the USC and PRSI over time.

“That’s a complex and challenging task, and it will take many budgets to do it, but when completed it means we will have the kind of social insurance system that exists in other European countries.”

He has also made three assurances for his government.

He said: “One. This government is fully engaged with the Brexit challenge. We have a clear vision about what we want to see emerge from the negotiations, and a co-ordinated approach across all departments and agencies.

“Two. We are determined to protect our national tax policy and will oppose any moves on corporate tax consolidation or turnover taxes on digital companies.

“We also remain committed to the OECD-led process on tax transparency. Ireland is not and will never be a tax haven.

“Three. We see extra capital investment as a buffer against future problems and an enabler for future success.”

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