Auto enrolment Ireland

Irish Pension Auto-Enrolment | When Will Auto Enrolment Come Into Play?

When Will Auto Enrolment Come Into Play?

Auto-enrolment scheme

Auto-enrolment is a revolutionary pension savings initiative designed to empower certain employees who currently aren’t investing in a pension plan. Instituted by the department of social protection, this scheme automatically enrolls eligible individuals into a pension program, with the option to opt out after a specified period.

Scheduled for introduction in January 2025, auto-enrolment pension scheme promises to reshape retirement planning. As details continue to emerge, this guide will be regularly updated to provide the latest information.

How Does Pension Auto Enrolment Work:

1. Contributions:

Under this new pension scheme, contributions are made by the employee, the employer, and the government into the employee’s pension fund.

2. Governance:

A new public entity, the National Automatic Enrolment Retirement Savings Authority, will be established to oversee the administration of the auto-enrolment scheme. The Pensions Authority will supervise this initiative.

3. Legislative Framework:

The Automatic Enrolment Retirement Savings System Bill 2024 lays the groundwork for auto-enrolment, dictating its implementation and operational protocols.

Who Qualifies for Auto Enrolment?

You are eligible for auto-enrolment into the pension savings scheme if you meet the following criteria:

  • Aged between 23 and 60
  • Not currently enrolled in a pension plan
  • Annual earnings equal to or exceeding €20,000

Individuals who previously contributed to a pension but discontinued, yet meet other conditions, will also be automatically enrolled.

Benefits for employees and employers                         

The introduction of Irish Auto-Enrolment brings a myriad of benefits for everybody. For employees, this scheme offers a hassle-free way to save for retirement, ensuring financial security in their later years. By automatically enrolling employees, it encourages higher participation rates, leading to increased retirement savings. Employers also stand to gain from this initiative as it promotes a culture of financial well-being among their workforce, enhancing employee satisfaction and retention through the provision of a private pension. Additionally, it reduces the administrative burden on employers by streamlining the pension enrollment process, ultimately fostering a more stable and prosperous workforce.

Impact on Existing Pension Plans:

Employees currently contributing to workplace pension schemes will not be enrolled in the auto-enrolment program.

Key Features of the auto enrolment pension

The Irish Pension Auto-Enrolment scheme has several key features. It includes contribution rates and thresholds that employers and employees must adhere to. The scheme also provides opt-out options for those who wish to not participate, while still offering benefits for those who do. These features are designed to ensure a successful and accessible pension plan for all.

Contribution Structure:

The Irish Pension Auto-Enrolment scheme introduces specific contribution rates and thresholds for the occupational pension scheme that employers and employees must follow. The current proposal suggests a minimum total contribution of 3.5% of an employee’s earnings, with a split of 1.5% from the employer ,1.5% from the employee and 0.5% from the government. These rates may be subject to review by the minister for social protection in the future. Thresholds will also be set to determine which employees are eligible for auto-enrolment based on their income levels.

Year Employee Contribution Employer Contribution Government Contribution Total Contribution
1-3 1.5% 1.5% 0.5% €700
4-6 3% 3% 1% €1,400
7-9 4.5% 4.5% 1.5% €2,100
10+ 6% 6% 2% €2,800

Maximum Contribution Limits:

Employer and government contributions to the occupational pension scheme are capped at €80,000 gross annual salary. Contributions beyond this threshold won’t be matched by either party.

Can I leave (opt-out of) the auto-enrolment scheme?

While mandatory for six months after enrollment, individuals can opt out afterward and receive a refund of their contributions. This will include opt-out options for employees who do not wish to participate in the new pension savings scheme. However, it is important to note the benefits of staying enrolled in the scheme. By participating, in the new scheme employees can enjoy the advantage of building up a pension pot over time, which will provide them with financial security during their post-work years and won’t have to rely on state pension. Additionally, contributions made by both employers and employees can receive tax relief, further incentivizing participation in the scheme.

Potential Impact and Challenges with the Pension Scheme

The introduction of the Irish Pension Auto-Enrolment scheme is expected to have several positive impacts. It will help increase retirement savings for employees and provide them with greater financial security in their later years. However, there may be challenges involved in implementing the scheme, such as ensuring widespread participation and managing the administrative burden for employers. These challenges will need to be carefully addressed to ensure the success of the auto-enrolment initiative.

Irish Pension Auto-Enrolment: Benefits for employees and employers

The introduction of Auto-Enrolment is expected to have several positive impacts. It will help increase retirement savings for employees and provide them with greater financial security in their later years. Employers will benefit from a more engaged workforce and improved employee retention. Overall, the scheme aims to create a more sustainable pension system for all stakeholders involved, paving the way for a robust occupational pension scheme.

Irish Pension Auto-Enrolment: Potential challenges and considerations

There are several potential challenges and considerations associated with the implementation of Auto-Enrolment. These include ensuring compliance from employers with the new pension system, addressing concerns about affordability for small businesses, and effectively communicating the benefits of the scheme to employees. Additionally, there may be logistical issues in terms of setting up infrastructure and systems to facilitate automatic enrolment.


Auto-enrolment presents a progressive approach to pension provision, ensuring greater financial security for employees. However, the suitability of this scheme vis-à-vis personal pension plans depends on individual circumstances. It’s advisable to assess both options meticulously before making a decision.