A Dublin conference has heard that any change to the state pension would have a major impact on the pension plans of people with private pensions as well as those totally reliant on the state pension when they retire.

Patrick Burke, managing director of Irish Life Investment Managers, told the conference that the state pension played a key part in the financial arrangements underpinning private sector pension plans.

He said that any change to entitlements in the state scheme would impact on expected income levels for people who have invested in private schemes as well as for those dependent on the state pension.

The conference, hosted by Irish Life, also heard that as defined contribution pension schemes become more widespread, the industry would have to recognise that historic defined benefit-led administration and communications methods "will not be fit for purpose".

"DC administration infrastructure must be flexible enough to recognise not just the individual nature of each employees' journey to retirement,'" Mr Burke said.

"Investment strategies linked to member risk profiles and other entitlements such as deferred DB entitlements, personal contracts and AV pots need to be incorporated into each members' solution," he added.