The Minister for Social Protection commissioned the OECD to report on the state of the Irish pension system in March 2012. In April of this year a number of recommendations were made by the OECD in order to deal with the perceived problems around increasing life expectancy and the funding problems for the State pension and private pension schemes.
To help solve the funding problems posed by increasing life expectancy, the OECD suggested linking the retirement age with life expectancy into the future. The absence of any debt on the employer legislation and the priority given to pensioners on wind-up were viewed as problems that needed to be addressed. Debt on the employer legislation would impose a high priority debt on the company, or other group companies, to pay the deficit in the pension scheme and would put an end to the current situation where, depending on scheme documentation, employers can walk away from pension scheme deficits.
A universal basic pension scheme for the entire population or a single means-tested pension was suggested at State level. This could be combined with automatic-enrolment by employees in private pension schemes.