Only 60 people in Ireland could afford to pay the full cost of a stay in a public nursing home based on their pension income, according to a new study detailed in The Sunday Business Post.

The report by the Independent Trustee Company (ITC) based its report on the cost of a nursing home on figures in the Fair Deal Scheme against the new maximum allowable pension fund on retirement, which has been reduced to €2.3m recently from €5.4m previously.

“According to the Health Service Executive, public sector nursing homes can cost over €2,000 a week, about €100,000 a year,” said Aidan McLoughlin, ITC’s managing director. “Without the Fair Deal scheme, retirees would need a pension income of €125,000 to fund nursing home care and have a little left over.

“To achieve this level of income, retirees would need a pension fund of €5m or more. This is way beyond the vast majority of people.”

Only 1,200 people declared pension funds of more than €2.3m by the June 7 deadline. ITC calculated that less than 5% of these had a pension pot of more than €5m.

“Going by these figures, it would appear that only 60 people in Ireland have pension funds capable of servicing nursing home fees,” McLoughlin said.

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