In a now annual tradition, as the CIF celebrates International Women’s Day with a view to inspiring inclusion and expanding the construction workforce. In the latest Construction Magazine, Susan O’Mara from CPAS looks at the Pension landscape for women and where Employers can add value.

Pension Coverage

The CSO regularly reports available data for Pension coverage in Ireland, with current data up to date as at Quarter 3 2022. The CSO looked at pension coverage in the State for persons aged 20 to 69 years. It found that as of Q3 2022, 68% of men were covered compared to 65% of women.

By contrast, the same survey, carried out in Q4 2005 found that 60% of men were covered versus 51% of women. Coverage has grown for both over the years, with increases in coverage for both women and men over the period.

However, despite this, research carried out by Irish Life in 2019, found that Irish women were retiring with smaller funds than men. There are several factors that contribute to this, which I have both written and spoken about in the past – however, the clear message is that pension coverage and pension adequacy are not the same thing. When you retire, will the value of your retirement fund be adequate to fund your desired lifestyle?
It is important for women (and men) to engage with their retirement planning and to think carefully about whether they are saving enough for retirement.

Employers, particularly those seeking to attract and retain staff, have an opportunity to be a part of the solution to pension adequacy. I have outlined below some key tips for employers to engage the women (and men):

  1. Construct an occupational pension scheme that is a key part of your employee benefits package and get employees engaged from the start. Your pension offering should be part of your recruitment conversation and the finer details should be included as part of your induction process.
  2. Ensure that your pension communications are clear and not full of “jargon”. One of the reasons employees find it hard to engage with the topic of Pensions is that the information can be focused on pension jargon and regulatory information. Developing simple and clear messaging around your pension offering and its value will greatly benefit employee engagement.
  3. Provide pension and financial education for your employees. This can be done via regular pension scheme updates, webinars and even one-to-one sessions. Having delivered many of these types of sessions for employers, I have enjoyed my experience over the years in witnessing that “epiphany” moment when people understand not only the importance of saving for retirement but also the significant value of the employers’ contribution to their retirement outcome.


A workforce engaged with the value of their occupation pension scheme through employer efforts can lead to improved employee health and wellbeing and increase employee engagement at work, while also ensuring that when employees come to retire, they can secure a more comfortable income to live on.

CPAS are the specialists when it comes to pension provision and financial advice for employers and staff in the Construction sector.

CPAS administer the Construction Workers Pension Scheme and the Construction Executive Retirement Savings (CERS). For more information and to find the right solution for you, contact our team for a no obligation discussion. Our team of financial specialists will put you in touch with the right team member. No obligations, no hidden fees, no jargon – just a straight forward chat to help you secure your present and your future.

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