The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) is expected to tell the Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection today that the Government’s new auto-enrolment pension scheme should include young and low-paid employees as well as sole traders.
In October, the Government approved details of the new auto-enrolment scheme ahead of its expected introduction in 2024.
Workers aged between 23 and 60 will be automatically signed up to a pension plan co-funded by their employer and the State but they can opt out if they wish to leave.
The plan is for employees who are not already in an occupational pension scheme.
Workers will have their pension savings matched on a one-for-one basis by their employer. The State will also provide a top-up of €1 for every €3 saved by the worker.
The bill introducing the pension scheme is currently before the Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection for pre-legislative scrutiny.
“ICTU recommends that young and low-paid employees and sole traders be automatically enrolled,” ICTU Social Policy Officer Dr Laura Bambrick is expected to say in her opening statement.
“That the self-employed will not be obliged to comply with the auto-enrolment rules is a cause for concern for ICTU.
“Aside from the low pension coverage among the self-employed, introducing a compulsory employer contribution will further increase the financial incentive for unscrupulous employers to misclassify employees as self-employed,” Dr Bambrick is expected to tell the committee.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Committee Cathaoirleach Denis Naughten said members welcomed the opportunity to continue its pre-legislative scrutiny with representatives from the ICTU.