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Ireland will be filled with migrants in 2051; country needs four million migrants to maintain State pension system

DUBLIN: The Government-appointed Pensions Commission has warned that Ireland could be filled with immigrants in 30 years.

The commission estimates that the country will need four million immigrants over the next 30 years to maintain the financial health of the State pension system.

There are now a total of 49 million people in Ireland. Looking at the number of people under the age of 24, we can see that there is a significant second generation of immigrants in Ireland. About 19 lakh people are over 45 years of age.

The commission says the number of elderly people is growing rapidly in Ireland. In this context, it will be difficult to find pensions for those over 65 years of age. This is because the gap between working people and pensioners is widening, said Central Statistics Office statistician James Hegarty.

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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