As part of a Master of Business Degree by Research, I am conducting a project on women’s experience of retirement planning in Ireland at South East Technological University (SETU) -Waterford campus. This project is under the academic supervision of John Maher and Dr Rosemarie Kelly from the SETU Business School.

I am inviting Waterford Chamber members to participate in a research focus group consisting of 8 to 12 young women aged between 20 and 40. The focus group will be conducted at a date and time to be agreed with the participants and is expected to take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete. By way of hospitality tea, coffee and light refreshments will be served on the day.

The focus group will provide a platform for young women to share their experiences of retirement planning in Ireland. Additionally, it is likely the study will highlight the issues of financial literacy and the complexity of pensions from a woman’s perspective, therefore, enabling the development of good practice. The knowledge and understanding arising from the findings of this study will inform Irish public policy and promote further collaboration and research in a European context. While participants do not receive a direct benefit from their involvement in this research, often people find that sharing their stories and insights is a worthwhile experience. Furthermore, in hearing others share their perspectives, participants may obtain information to help them in their own lives.

All focus group participants are expected to respect the privacy of other group members. It is anticipated that the results of this study will be published and, to protect participant confidentiality, it will not include any information that would identify an individual participant or her family. Participant names will be anonymised in the written transcript of the focus group discussion. To keep the information safe, the recording of the focus group will be placed in a locked cabinet until a written word-for-word copy of the discussion has been created. The texts generated in the research process are the joint property of the researchers and the focus group participants and will be available only to those working on the current project. This research project is undertaken within a framework approved by the Ethics Committee of SETU.

If you would like to participate in this important research project, I would be very grateful if you could contact me directly, by email (tara.fennelly@postgrad.wit.ie), or telephone (086-0831803). I will then email each potential participant separately providing details of the proposed dates/times and schedule, the focus group design and the consent process.

Your participation is greatly appreciated and will be acknowledged by the Business School, the University, and in the final dissertation and relevant publications derived therefrom.