Irish workers’ pensions were the worst performing funds in 2008 of any in the developed world with losses of up to 35 per cent.  As the country faces a major pensions crisis in 2009 with a number of high-profile company schemes expected to collapse by June, the Government looks set to have to bail out or supplement schemes that are now in deficit. The sharp decline of Ireland’s pension performance was blamed on the level of exposure to shares and experts have said that to protect people’s retirement funds, Ireland must further diversify where it invests its money. For several years, Irish equities were among the strongest performers on the markets but they were hit hard during 2008 and that fall has hit pensions badly.