Portion of Income for Savings and Pension

Ideally what % should a person be saving and what portion should be put away on a pension?

Thay say in your 20’s about 10% and in your 30’s about 15%.

I’ve been putting 17% in since my midd 20 (12 years) and it’s in a big hole to the tune of about 10 grand which means I’m f*cked as you need growth in the fund year on year of about 6% espically early on, to have any hope of a deacent fund at the end. Sickens me. It’s a company fund with BOI asset managment.

I used to pay 20% and 20%, when I had a higher salary, it’s now 10% in the pension (plus a much more generous company contribution, so the overall proportion is the same, albeit of a lower salary) and around 10% saving.

Are you talking Net or Gross salary. Would capital payment on a mortgage count as saving?

There is no one answer on the pension side that’s appropriate for everyone as the answer depends on a number of factors.

What age are you? As you get older it the costs of funding a pension increases. In addition to that, the maximum contribution you’re allowed pay is age related.
Are in you a pension scheme already or are you starting from scratch?
Do you want to make up for prior years where you didn’t make any contributions? Are you targeting the Revenue maximum or just enough to be comfortable?
If in a scheme is it defined benefit or defined contribution? Is your employer contributing and how much?
Male, female, single, married, kids?
What salary are you on and what provision do you already have? Govt is cutting back on maximum allowances and benefits so if you’re on a high salary or already have a large fund you could be very restricted in what you pay.

Not trying to be smart but if I tell you I’m paying 15%, you’ve no idea if that’s adequate or not without knowing the answer to the above questions.

All good questions.
FWIW, single, 40, no kids, renting.

Heard Jill Kerby on Matt Cooper in recent weeks. To paraphase:

The ELITE civil servant (think Secretary-General level) pension is unsustainable.

The standard civil servant (think Executive/Clerical Officer level) is unsustainable.

The private sector pension is unsustainable (presumably because of low returns on investments).

The State Old Age pension is unsustainable.

I just don’t know what to make of Jill Kerby, she might be very wise but she’s no crack at all!!!

I think Jill Kerby is full of proverbial. I base this view on the following:

  1. in her Sunday Times colum she consistently advises people to buy gold. It isn’t a bubble dontcha know! It is a solid investment even though gold now costs many multiples of what it cost a couple of years ago.
  2. in radio interviews she has regularly advised people in mortgage arrears to just ‘walk away’ send the keys back to the bank. She obviously has zero knowledge of the way bankruptcy law and house repossessions works in this country because, if she did she would realise that this is the worst advice to give anyone. If you walk away the bank will load your mortgage with interest and penalties and then sell quickly to the first buyer they get so you will be even further in debt than you would be if you negotiated with the bank.
    What qualifications has this woman got? Has she worked in the pensions or investment industury in the past?

Did you see this thread in the Piston?

From Early Retirement Extreme

Cancelled my pension last year. After 13 years of putting money in. Its worth less than if I had just saved the money.

State pension and/or some savings is probably good enough for me.

My house is my pension :wink:


Unsustainable if you think that by putting just 5% of your income you’ll be able to retire on a decent income…

I know what you mean. I feel like I am going all ahead flank in the titanic after it hit the iceberg, putting about 15% in and it’s still dropping. :laughing:
Fairly sure there is a hole below the waterline.

The problem with this is that the answer may not be the same for any two people on the pin whether they are contributors or lurkers because everybody is different e.g. personal circumstances, married, single, what they would need to live on per week based on lifestyle i.e. 3 nights a week in the pub and two in a restaurant or someone who eats out once a month.
My advice is whatever you do be very careful and make sure you read the small print about charges etc etc and on top of that be aware that a little return from a secure fund maybe better in the long run than promises of riches from some of the hair brained schemes Ive seen in decades past.
Manage risk and live to fight another day but do your homework and dont be caught out by advertising. Also be aware that government have already milked pensions and theres nothing to stop them extending the pension levy on from 2014 if they can come up with another excuse or forcing pension funds to invest in places they maybe shouldnt. Just remember whatever your decision you are the one who’ll have to live on it in retirement so dont be flippant be careful and lastly shop around before making a decision.

Sorry to bring it back to the original question but even more information is required in your consideration.

What standard of lifestyle do you want when you retire? Also, when do you want to retire? A simpler consideration might be to estimate the pension pot you want to have at what age. You can work backwards and calculate what you should be saving. I wouldn’t use the pension funds old assumption of 7% growth to infinity, or their new one of 6% growth for ever more. I don’t see how a broad asset base can outperform the broader economy on an ongoing basis.

Or take an alternative retirement strategy. I intend to engage in smoking, fisticuffs and reckless gunplay from my 64th birthday onwards.

Don’t plan your retirement to a beach in Spain just yet…


Pensions are wasted on the pensioners. Spend it now while you have it. Buy a nice house, that you could eventually trade down from if needed in your 70s/80s/90s. Do lots of things while you’re young that will give you happiness and great memories. Be in a career that you enjoy and would be happy to do (at least part time) into your 70s. There will always be a basic pension to fall back on, you wont starve or be denied medical treatment in this country no matter how little you have. Everyone else seems to be relying on state, why not you? We are well overdue an asteroid or supervolcano or iceage at this stage so ya mighnt even see a penny of that pension contribution. Rest asured the financial types are living for today with their % of your pension contributions.

Assuming you want to retire at 65 and making loads of assumptions about inflation, salary growth, investment returns, etc.

If you want a pension that is the equivalent to €20k today at retirement
you need to save whatever % that €20k is of your current salary each year.


No pension saving. None whatsover (unless you are on a special defined benefit scheme that is likel to be changed anyhow whether your have a say or not to a defined contribution type) is ever going to give you the return that you wish for.

Generally youger people are more fit and healthy. So live now. Make real investments in your home that you can use on a day to day basis. Better furniture, more efficient and easy to use appliances, buy better quality foods.

The pension/savings schemes of today that have been set up by the financial system are the other side of their two way street of cleaning out and usery of the general public. PUT A STOP TO IT. Spend you money on real useful products for your wellbeing.