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Workers staring at pensions nightmare

THOUSANDS of workers are facing an uncertain retirement with 75pc of defined benefit pensions now in deficit.

Despite pouring money into their retirement plan every month, many people could have less than expected when they end their working life.

A failure to tackle the exposure of the funds to equity markets has been highlighted by the Pensions Board, which has criticised the inaction of pension trustees.

Pension Board chief executive Brendan Kennedy said an over-reliance on equity markets increased the risk of pension funds suffering additional losses from declining values of stocks and shares.


He also said there was a worrying fall in numbers paying into pension schemes .

In its annual report, the Pensions Board also revealed how the funding deficit was now "substantial" in many of the country's defined benefit schemes.

On average, 60pc of such funds had investments in equities and properties -- far above pension funds in most other EU countries, he said.

Reacting to the report, Social Protection Minister Joan Burton said the Government was committed to reforming the pension system to ensure its sustainability.