European Pensions Conference at NUI Galway to Focus on Inclusion, Communication and Accountability

Sep 10 2018 Posted: 09:27 IST

NUI Galway will host the annual conference of the European Network for Research on Supplementary Pensions (ENRSP) from 20-21 September. 

Pensions are a major area of social policy and spending, and affect all residents who contribute to and benefit from a country’s pension system, currently or in the future. Currently pension systems in Ireland and around the world are undergoing radical changes.

These reforms raise questions about inclusion, communication, and accountability, such as: the best way to include unpensioned groups (young, female, low paid, disabled, ethnic minorities and/or SME employees) in a pension system? Or, in a defined contribution and privatised pensions world, can communication and education encourage individuals to make better financial decisions to improve their future financial security? And, as governments move to reduce over-reliance on public pensions, who is accountable for ensuring that future old age income is not eroded by fees and poor pension decisions? These are the topics which will be covered throughout the two-day conference.

The conference will be opened by Brendan Kennedy, the Chief Executive of the Pensions Authority. Brendan has spent almost his entire career in pensions.  Before joining the Authority in 2004, he held a variety of life insurance and consulting positions. Brendan is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries in Ireland, of the Institute of Actuaries and of the Irish Institute of Pensions Management. He is a former chair of the Occupational Pensions Committee of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority. 

Susan Kiuvalainen, Head of Research at the Finnish Centre for Pensions, will deliver the keynote address. Susan will speak about Finland’s recently implemented pension reforms intended to secure the financing of earnings-related pensions (ERPs), promote sufficient retirement income and achieve intergenerational fairness. Kiuvalainen oversees the research in support of the evaluation and development of ERPs in Finland. The European Commission presents Finnish reforms as a model for a sustainable European pension solution.

Maureen Maloney, Lecturer in Management at NUI Galway and one of the conference organisers, said: “There could be no better time to welcome academics from Europe and the US to discuss pension issues. The last major change to the pension system in Ireland was in 2003. Understanding the experiences from other countries will help us to make the right changes that will benefit all of us when we retire.”

The conference is hosted by NUI Galway and the Pension Policy Research Group. Contributions were received from The Pensions Authority, the Pension Policy Research Group, and NUI Galway’s Registrar's Office, The Irish Centre of Social Gerontology and the Discipline of Management.

For more information on the conference contact Maureen Maloney at or visit


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