The policy priorities for social welfare reform during this term of government include the implementation of a new system of social welfare and the introduction of secondary pensions.
- Income support was launched on 6th July 2018. This new benefit replaced the supplementary benefit and rent rebate schemes. This change was made to rationalise and simplify the provision of financial assistance for living and housing costs and to make sure that everyone was treated the same whether they live in the private sector or social housing.
- For further information about income support please click here.
- The introduction of secondary pensions is designed to encourage and enable working age people to save for a more comfortable retirement by supplementing the existing old age pension. This will be achieved by requiring employers to enrol their employees in a qualifying pension scheme. Employees will have the option to opt-out if they wish. In order to ensure that all employers can access a pension scheme, a tender was undertaken in 2018 to establish a new scheme that will be legally obliged to accept any and all employers wishing to enrol their employees. Detailed proposals about the implementation of secondary pensions will be presented to the States for approval in 2019. The scheme will not launch until 2020 at the earliest and there will be a significant transition period during which the minimum contribution rates will gradually rise in order to allow businesses and individuals time to plan and adjust.