More than 70% of Irish employees have a pension, according to a survey by Friends First, 4% higher than last year and 8% above the 2011 figure.

However 20% of those surveyed said they had reduced their pension contributions in the past year, with almost half of those having stopped contributing altogether.

The Friends First survey was carried out online amongst 1,012 Irish residents aged between 25 and 55.

More than half of respondents said they planned to rely on the State pension upon retirement, while 31% said they would be encouraged to start a pension if they had a better understanding of them.

Of the respondents that did not have a pension, 63% said they could not afford one and 25% said they had not gotten around to setting one up.