Ticking timebomb: Can the Pensions Commission find the solutions to a problem the government may not want to solve?

How can we pay for the state pension, with a changing demographic making this more and more difficult? And should the pension itself be reduced, or raised? The Pension Committee’s conclusions on such explosive issues have now been pushed back to September

The Pensions Commission was set up last November with a very tight timeline to finish its work. Its final report was originally supposed to be delivered in June in line with the commitment in the programme for government, but the government decided to push that date back to July. Picture: Getty

A state body has been asking the government an uncomfortable question about something very few people are aware of.

The state pension is funded by Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) contributions, deducted from both workers and employers. But minutes of the meetings of the Pension Commission, set up to advise on the so-called pensions timebomb, show that it has been asking whether “the government, as employers, pay PRSI”.

The answer is that government departments and ...