IRELAND - An Bord Pinsea, the official Irish pensions body, has released figures signalling a "positive" take-up of PRSAs.
At the end of September 2003, 51,782 employers had signed up with a PRSA provider and a total of 6,707 PRSAs were sold. These comprise 4,764 standard PRSAs and 1,943 non-standard PRSAs with a total asset value of e5.2m.
A PRSA is low-cost savings vehicle, with certain tax exemptions. They became available earlier this year in a bid to lift Irish pension coverage from 50% to 70% of the workforce. Employers became legally obliged to have arrangements in place by September 15.
There are now 10 providers of PRSAs with a total of 55 approved products.
Anne Maher, CEO of the Pensions Board, said: “The figures represent a good start to a steady PRSA uptake and increased pension provision in Ireland. These figures only take us up to end September. The Board understands that PRSA providers initially concentrated on signing up employers and that actual sale of PRSAs to employees will become clearer in the returns at end December 2003. October also typically sees a surge of increased pension provision as self-employed people avail of tax benefit deadlines.”
The Pensions Board also added that since the September deadline its has received - and is subsequently following up - 25 ‘whistleblow’ reports.
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