IRELAND- Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSAs) are now worth more than e178.5m, according to data from the Pensions Board.
A total of 46,257 PRSAs have been taken out in Ireland - 36,557 standard PRSAs and 9,700 non-standard PRSAs. By the end of 2004, 70,382 employers had signed up with a PRSA provider, as required by law, while 20,286 employees have taken out PRSAs through their employer.
“At the close of 2004 we note PRSA coverage continues to grow in a positive fashion,” said Anne Maher (pictured), CEO of the Pensions Board. “The significant rise in the asset value illustrates a growing confidence in PRSAs from an investment point of view.”
However, only 6,694 of PRSAs have contributions made to them. Media reports also noted that only 9,000 PRSAs were sold in the last quarter of 2004, down from 12,000 new PRSAs for the same three months in 2003. A total of 27,000 PRSAs were sold during 2004, as compared with 19,000 sold in the second half of 2003, when PRSAs were launched.
Meanwhile, investment manager Coyle Hamilton Willis reported that the average pooled pension managed fund posted returns of 2% in January, giving a three month growth of 6.5%. Canada Life/Setanta Fund had the highest return in January, posting 2.8%. Best over 12 months was the Eagle Star Balanced Fund.
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