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By 2051, Ireland will be full of migrants; Country needs four million migrants to maintain State pension system

DUBLIN: By 2051, Ireland may be full of immigrants, as the country needs millions of immigrants to maintain the financial health of the State pension system. The Central Statistics Office has issued a warning to the Government-appointed Pensions Commission that Ireland would need 4 million migrants over the next 30 years.

The CSO says the number of older people in the country is growing rapidly, leaving a small portion of those working to raise money for pensions for those over 65. At the same time, CSO statistician James Hegarty pointed out that the population of the elderly will continue to grow, which will significantly affect the ratio of working people to pensioners.

Mr. Hegarty said there are currently five working-age people in Ireland for every person over the age of 65. But after 30 years, it’s going to drop to 2.3 people for every person over 65, he added.

He therefore reminded the Commission that it is estimated that an additional 4 million migrants will be needed to maintain the current ratio of five workers to one older person by 2051.

However, Mr Hegarty said Ireland is still young compared to other European countries. He clarified that this is due to the fact that fertility rates have only recently begun to decline here, while in other parts of Europe it has been declining for many years.

At the same time the minutes stated that: “An additional 4 million migrants by 2051 would create significant challenges e.g. in terms of housing, transport, employment.”

The Irish Financial Advisory Council (FCCA) has told the Commission that €850 million a year is currently needed to pay pensions and that spending will increase significantly.

At the same time, it is expected that after five years, due to an increase in pension and long-term care costs, expenditure will outstrip revenue.

Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys said reducing the amount of state pensions should not be considered.

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