Pension savers can't seem to catch a break.
The revelation that one of the State's largest banks plans to start charging pension funds for holding their cash means the prudent, who have gone to the expense and trouble of providing for their retirement, are being punished.
Bank of Ireland will impose a negative interest rate of 0.65pc on funds held in pensions from September. Other banks are sure to follow. This is the first time that negative interest rates will have directly affected consumers.
Wholesale interest rates have been negative for the past six years as the European economy struggles to recover from the last recession. Large corporations and the bigger credit unions have been charged for handing over their cash to banks, but not ordinary people. Now the record low interest rate environment is to deliver a hammer blow to pension savers by hitting them with negative rates.
This is in a situation where there is negative sentiment towards pensions already.
Only a third of private sector workers belongs to a pension scheme. There is virtually 100pc coverage in the public sector. And those in the private sector who are contributing to a pension are often not putting enough in to have a comfortable retirement. The outbreak of Covid-19 will have made this situation worse.
It is not long ago, in pension terms anyway, since the then government decided to impose a levy on private sector pension savings, something that was characterised as theft.
And recently, those saving for retirement have had to contend with moves to postpone the date when they can qualify for the State pension. The contributory State pension is a key component of the retirement income for people. However, the rise in the pension age - it was due to go to 67 next year - has been put off for now.
Then a new threat arrives in the shape of Covid-19, which has created huge volatility in investment markets.
This has prompted many people to move their pension investments into cash.
Indeed, the advice of the regulator, the Pensions Authority, is for company-defined benefit schemes to invest less in equities and more in cash and bonds.
People in this country are still scarred by the big crash that began in 2008. So they have opted for the safe havens of cash and bonds, as memories are still fresh about the collapse in property and bank shares in that bust.
Pension savers are losing money from inflation by having their retirement funds in cash. Now they are to be charged by the banks for holding that cash.
Financial adviser Liam Ferguson argues that it makes sense for those close to retirement to minimise risks and have their funds in cash.
But for those who are 10 to 20 years or more from retirement it is getting harder to justify having pension funds in cash. You need to take a longer-term view if you are years away from retirement and remember that investments fall and rise, but generally rise.
Irish pension managed funds returned 8.3pc per annum on average over the past 10 years, according to Rubicon Investment Consulting.
Check where your pension money is invested. Be wary of having it all tied up in cash, and remember that in the long run investment lows tend to smooth out.