The Citizens' Assembly has voted unanimously to recommend the Government should urgently prioritise and implement existing policies and strategies in relation to older people.

87% of the members voted that there should be an increase in resources for the care of older people, bearing in mind that this could mean fewer resources for other areas.

There was also support from 87% of the members for the proposal that the Government should introduce some form of mandatory pension scheme to supplement the state pension.

The only other proposal to attract unanimous support was that the Government should take steps to rationalise private pension schemes to include greater transparency in relation to fees.

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Other proposals that attracted strong support included bench-marking the state pension to the national average income, 88% supported this proposal.

And 96% voted to remove the anomaly which arises when a person who must retire at 65 is not entitled to the state pension until 66.

Full details of all the votes this weekend are available at the Citizens’ Assembly website www.citizensassembly.ie

The Assembly will meet again over the weekend of the 30 September/1 October to discuss climate change.

Yesterday, the Assembly heard calls to address the gender gap in pensions.

The Chief Commissioner of Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, Emily Logan, said there is a 37% gap between the pensions women get and those that men receive.

She said this is because women often take time out of paid employment to look after children or care for other relatives.

She said workers in low paid or precarious work who are at a disadvantage during their working life are inevitably worse off when they retire.

The Assembly also heard that the majority of people will rely on the state pension when they retire and that for all but the richest 30% of pensioners, most of their income will come from the social welfare payments.

Andrew Nugent of the Pension Authority told the Assembly that most people in private employment are not in a pension scheme.

The target under the National Pensions Policy Initiative was to have 70% of workers in a scheme but by the end of 2015, the figure was 46.7% and that had fallen from 56% in 2005.