Sunday, 24th September 2017
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Pensions

The vast majority of Irish people will have to rely on the State pension to cover all of their pension needs in the future the Citizens Assembly has heard. Only 30% of the richest pensioners will be able to fund their own pensions while even though compulsory pensions have fallen by nearly 10% over the last number of years. Even a basic interpretation of these figures leaves most pensioners in danger of falling into the poverty trap just at a time when their resources are at their lowest and the chances of earning more money are also at their lowest.

Compulsory redundancy will mean that more and more people once they hit retirement age will have to take a considerable hit in their income. Of course this means that those who are at the most vulnerable stages of their life will have the least amount of money to see them through some of life's mosts difficult passages as it is no surprise that the older you get the more health issues that you go through.

It is often said that a country can always be judged on how it treats its most vulnerable people and it is easy to say that pensioners are some of the most vulnerable people in any society and if you are saying that the most vulnerable are having to rely on just the state pension then it is quite easy to say that pensioners are getting a raw deal even though they might have worked all of their lives or even they might have worked some or none due to various other factors.

The point of the state pension along with other state benefits is that they do help enormously and the state or civil society would be a worse place without them but the fact is that nearly 50%, whether they know it or not, of the population are dependent on state hand outs of one kind or another. State benefits do of course help but they are not enough to live fully on or give you anything other than a meagre level of existence. And given the manner in which the price of living is increasing almost daily, life is getting tougher and tougher the more the months and years roll on.

The fact is that being a pensioner the chances of you being able to change your circumstances are very little at all. You can't get back into the work force which means that the only way you can deal with a fixed, small income is by cutting back on the little that you are already able to do. Overall it is not a good picture and it is one thighlighted by the Citizen's Assembly as one of deep national concern as it is something that is not only not going to go away but just going to get worse as the years roll on and we have a larger and larger elderly population.

Could it be you?

The amount of wishful thinking that has gone around the announcement that the winner of a 29 million euro lotto payout has gone to an Irish winner is nothing short of astonishing. During a long summer there is nothing better to think about than being the winner of a huge amount of money and what you might do with it. It always seems to run along the same lines, holiday, house, car, money to family and friends.

However when the payout is as big as this you might think that people might get a bit more adventurous. Here's hoping that whoever won the money will have a great time with it and will have some serious fun along the way.

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