IRELAND - The measures announced by Minister of Finance Brian Cowen to incentivise the movement of Special Savings Incentive Account (SSIA) funds into pensions has been welcomed by Seamus Brennan, the minister for social and family affairs.
In the 2006 Finance Bill, Cowen said the Government would commit e1 for every e3 transferred from an eligible SSIA account into a Personal Retirement Savings Account, an Additional Voluntary Contribution or a retirement annuity contract subject to a maximum bonus of e2,500.
With the initiative aimed at lower income SSIA holders, transferring e7,500 from their SSIAs into these pensions could receive the maximum e2,500 top-up. In addition the exit tax on SSIAs transferred would be waived.
“I would urge people to avail of this opportunity as a way of investing in securing a decent income for their later years,” Brennan claimed.
The announcement comes after the recently-published Pensions Board review on coverage and adequacy emphasised the need to tap into the saving habit successfully reigned in by the SSIA schemes, soon to mature early this year. Recent figures still suggest less than 50% of Ireland’s workforce invest in occupational pension schemes.
“The measures announced signal the start of a wider and even more determined resolve on the part of the government to target, in particular, those least likely to have made adequate provision and who are relying mainly on the state pension,” Brennan concluded.
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