independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Three out of four savers unhappy with return on deposit - survey

One in four of us have no savings at all

fifty Euro banknote

THREE out of four people say they are unhappy with the return they are getting on their savings from their bank.

And the average amount on deposit is €25,500, a survey of 1,000 adults commissioned by life and pensions company Standard Life has found.

Finance experts said such a large amount held in savings reflected large nest eggs built up by older people over the years, lump-sum retirement funds and the fact that some better off people were able to save regularly.

Large numbers are unable to save, especially those with boom-era mortgages and younger families.

The Standard Life-commissioned research, carried out by Research Plus, found that one in four people has no savings at all.

The survey found a majority of people only have a vague idea, or no idea at all, of what interest rate they are getting on their savings.

Banks have been cutting the interest rate they pay to those with savings for the past year and a half. Some banks are now paying less than 1pc on savings accounts.

And the Government hiked the tax on deposit interest from 33pc to 41pc at the start of the year.

On top of this, some PAYE workers will have to pay 4pc pay related social insurance (PRSI) for the first time this year.

And State savings schemes, most of which are tax free, have seen the interest paid on them halved in the past year after three reductions in the interest rates paid.

Standard Life’s Brendan Barr said some people with savings were getting 0.5pc return on their money after tax, with many getting even less.

“Some may not even beat the annual inflation rate of 0.2pc,” he said.

The investment and pensions company said it had already seen a number of consumers moving their money from deposits to higher-yielding, long-term investments.

The average managed fund had a return of 12pc last year, he said.

There is around €120bn in household savings between money in banks, credit unions and State savings schemes.

This is made up of €91.7bn in household savings in banks, according to the Central Bank.

There is another €17.9bn in State savings schemes sold through post offices. And the savings in the 392 credit unions amount to €10.5bn, according to the Irish League of Credit Unions.

The average dividend paid in credit unions is 0.96pc, the league said.

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