The week in pensions: A global report

A round up of this week’s pension news from Europe, Africa and the USA.

Uncertain futures in Ireland

50% of Irish interviewers aged between 30 to 45 have not begun saving for a pension, a new survey undertaken by Red C, on behalf of Bank of Ireland Life has found.

This is in spite of 39% of the respondents claiming they are worried about their financial future, and 80% showing concern that they will have to work beyond Ireland’s minimum state retirement age.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico’s deteriorating economy and fiscal conditions spell bad news for the country’s elderly, with its pension liability now totalling USD 8,900 per person.

Despite reforms passed earlier this year to reduce its USD 37.3 billion of unfunded pension liabilities, the US commonwealth state’s pension debt now stands at USD 35 billion – which is predicted to remain for years.

Currently, the state can only cover 11.2% of its public pensions.

French pensions show modest reforms

The French cabinet will be shown a draft law that avoids lifting the retirement age and plans for a larger-than-expected deficit this year.

European leaders have criticised the reform, including party leaders in Brussels, as thousands of demonstrators in France took to the streets to protest pro-business provisions.

South Africa mergers hide pension plundering

A scheme masterminded to simulate mergers and target the surplus on combined pension funds continued last Wednesday at Johannesburg Regional Magistrate’s Court.

Simon Nash, Chairman at Cadac, stands accused of benefitting from pension surpluses from around eight pension funds targeted from 1992 to 1999.

England’s firefighters revolt

The Fire Brigades Union has announced plans for a strike to take place this Wednesday as part of a row over pensions.

The four-hour strike comes after a landslide vote among the union’s 33,000 members, and is being described as “a warning shot to the Government” and the ministers claiming firefights should work until 60 to receive a full pension.

General Secretary Matt Wrack has called the proposed measure “ludicrous”.