In order to enhance the viability for individuals to take up the option of availing of a PRSA (Personal Retirement Savings Account), the Pensions (Amendment) Act, 2002 places certain responsibilities on employers. There is a requirement on all employers, whose pension scheme cannot meet certain requirements to provide access to a standard PRSA.
In practical terms providing access to a PRSA means that the employer must make employees aware of their right to contribute to a PRSA, allow employees access to at least one PRSA provider, and allow employees reasonable time off to consult with the provider.
The Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys announced in October 2022 that the Automatic Enrolment (AE) Retirement Savings System Bill would finally be introduced to the Oireachtas in early 2023, with the scheme up and running the following year, the new auto-enrolment pension scheme is set to be operational by 2024.
The Automatic Enrolment (AE) Retirement Savings System will see employees earning €20,000 or more and aged 23 to 60 who are not currently enrolled in a workplace pension scheme will be enrolled in the auto-enrolment scheme. The employee, their employer, and the government will all contribute to the scheme, with contributions (calculated as a percentage of gross income) gradually increasing over the first ten years.