ONE-THIRD of workers have no pension for retirement and will rely on the government to fund their after-work life.
The vast majority of those without occupational or private pension schemes work in the private sector.
According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), around 95 percent of public sector employees have a company pension.
The new numbers come as the planned launch of a long-promised automatic enrollment program has been pushed back to late next year.
It is intended to automatically enroll people without a company pension in a system.
When asked why they don’t have supplemental pension protection, 45pc said they never managed to organize one or would organize one at a later date, according to the CSO’s 2021 pension protection publication.
Affordability was the second most common reason for not having a pension, with this being cited by 40pc as the reason they do not have supplementary pension protection.
The state pension is the projected primary source of income in retirement for almost half of unplanned workers.
About three in ten people had not yet decided what their primary source of income would be when they retired.
Among workers without occupational pension coverage from their current job, more than half said their employer does not offer a pension scheme.
Pension protection is lowest for younger workers.
A quarter of workers aged 20-24 had a pension, up one percentage point from 2020.
Pension protection is highest for workers between the ages of 45 and 54.
More than three quarters of those in employment in these age groups also had pension insurance.
Overall, two-thirds of workers have some form of pension insurance outside of the state pension.
The number of employees with traditional defined benefit systems has fallen from 35 percent in 2021 to 28 percent last year.
A defined benefit pension promises to pay a fixed pension amount based on final salary and years of service.
But financing them has become enormously expensive.
The number of defined contribution pensions increased from 64 percent in 2020 to 69 percent.
With a defined contribution pension, your retirement pension depends on how much has been paid into the plan and for how long.
CSO statistician Maureen Delamere said the new numbers show about two-thirds of those who have a job have some form of retirement insurance outside of the state pension.
She said an analysis of pension coverage by occupation shows that workers whose occupation is classified as self-employed had the highest pension coverage ratio.
This compares to those in the skilled trades, where just over four in ten workers had pension insurance.
Ms Delamere said the economic sector with the highest pension coverage in the third quarter of last year was public administration and defense at 95 percent.
Ray McKenna, a partner at pensions consultancy Lockton, said workers don’t always fully appreciate the value of pensions as an employee benefit.
He said employers should do more to better communicate the financial value of a lucrative and financially prudent perk to their employees.