This is an article on the presentation by the Irish Brokers Association “IBA” to an Oireachtas Committee on the issue of private pension funds. The IBA also outline the continuing lack of confidence by pension investors regarding the governments plans to maintain the higher rate tax relief to allow individuals to provide for retirement. The article appeared on www.rte.ie.
The average size of a private pension fund in Ireland is €100,000 which is not enough to sustain a retiree over a 20-year period, according to the Irish Brokers Association.
Representatives of the Association told an Oireachtas Committee that the ratio of workers to pensioners was moving from 6:1 to 2:1 over the coming decades.
There were calls for greater tax incentives to get people investing in pension funds and a call for the investment of some of the €80bn capital in pension funds in infrastructural projects.
Aidan McLoughlin of the Brokers Association said confidence needed to be given to the pension investor that tax relief would be available at marginal rates.
Mr McLoughlin said this was important as otherwise pension savers were being punished for bothering to save for retirement.
Linda Gallagher called for flexibility to allow pensioners access some of their tax-free lump sum before retirement to invest further or to offset accumulated debts, a suggestion that was welcomed by members of the Committee.
Committee Chair Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said there needed to be safeguards in place to ensure that people are not dissipating an already inadequate fund.
There was also a call for greater transparency in the charges associated with pension funds, which the Association said was often greater than the headline rate advertised.
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