Business Pensions

Sunday 11 December 2016

Pensions levy yields exceed expectations

Published 10/11/2015 | 02:30

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath: 'The €2.4bn raid was nothing short of daylight robbery of the savings of pensioners and employees'
Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath: 'The €2.4bn raid was nothing short of daylight robbery of the savings of pensioners and employees'

The levy imposed on private pension funds has yielded far more than expected this year, in a move that will hit retirement schemes.

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The levy took in €34m more than forecast this year, to yield €169m.

This takes the total from the controversial levy to €2.4bn.

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath, who obtained the figures in a Dáil question, said: "The €2.4bn raid was nothing short of ­daylight robbery of the savings of ­pensioners and ­employees.

"The fact that the ­Government took in €34m more this year than it expected will come as a bitter blow to the thousands of current and future retirees who will bear the cost of this."

He claimed the extension of the levy into 2015 was a betrayal of the Government's consistent claim that it would be a ­temporary four-year levy to fund job creation and would expire at the end of 2014.

The €2.4bn raised from the levy over the past five years compares with the roughly €550m yield annually from the local property tax, and even less from water charges.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan promised in last month's Budget to scrap the controversial levy at the end of this year.

Hundreds of thousands of people who were members of private sector pension schemes across the country are being hit with the levy.

Mr Noonan said the ­controversial measure had been rolled out to offset the reduced rate of VAT for the hospitality sector.

Irish Independent

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