'If the industry can deliver both what individuals need in retirement, as well as what they want, they will be doing well.'
Chris Curry, Director of the Pensions Policy Institute on the future of pensions in Ireland
What's your name?
What position do you hold?
Director, Pensions Policy Institute
How long have you held the position?
I have been Director since June 2013, but joined the PPI in 2002.
What are your day to day responsibilities?
Overall leadership of the PPI (an educational research charity that provides an independent evidence base for policy makers in the area of pensions and retirement). That involves running a small charity, fund raising, overseeing research and ensuring that the research feeds into the policy making process.
What is your professional background?
I am an economist by training, and started my career as an assistant economist at the Department of Social Security (now the Department for Work and Pensions) with the UK Government. From there I moved to be Senior Economist at the Association of British Insurers, before joining the PPI as Research Director.
Tell me about yourself away from work?
Most of my time is spent in some way involved with my wife and 3 sons (18, 16 and 13), although I do still play football and very occasionally cricket. I like to read and travel, especially to places with good red wine and strong black coffee.
Tell us something very few people know about you?
As well as being Director of the PPI I am also the coach of Chiddingfold Rockets under 14 football team. I have been coaching them since they were 7. It keeps me fit, out in the fresh air, and away from the supermarket on a Saturday morning.
You are speaking at the Sunday Business Post’s National Pensions Summit. What do you think of the speaker line-up and conference focus?
Given the current proposed pension reforms in Ireland this is a perfect time for the conference, and the focus covers many of the key challenges that the UK has faced in recent years while going through similar reforms. The speaker line up looks excellent, and I am particularly looking forward to hearing about future trends and employee engagement. The issue of women and pensions is vitally important, given the links between working and pension saving. And engaging individuals to save more is always a real challenge.
What challenges do you see for employers and trustees for the future of pensions in Ireland?
Ireland will face the same challenges as countries all over the world do in pensions – the trade-offs between adequacy and affordability, simplicity and flexibility, transparency and protection. In particular, the shift towards more individual freedoms and responsibility in pension saving means that individuals are likely to need much more support from employers and trustees in future.
Where would you like to see the pensions industry in 10 years time?
Not being an Ireland resident this is a tricky one for me, but if the industry can deliver both what individuals need in retirement, as well as what they want, they will be doing well. Gaining trust and positive reputation will be important, as well providing secure pensions and good quality outcomes for customers.
Chris Curry will be appearing at the National Pensions Summit. The agenda and further details of this important national event at Croke Park on September 19th can be found at pensionssummit.ie