J Good on Joan Burton. Speaking at an insurance conference last week she said that pension industry charges are too high. One third of the value of a pension can be wiped out with commission and costs. For years, successive governments have been brow-beating us into taking out pensions. The fact that many people don't has been blamed on inertia and bad planning. But maybe as customers, we've just realised that pensions are a total rip-off.
Is there any other industry that can treat customers so badly while they sit back and laugh as the State uses a carrot and stick to force citizens into buying into their product? Buy a pension or you'll die alone in squalor! Invest in a pension and we'll magic away your tax bill!
I'm happy to save for my old age, but I'm not happy to give one third of those savings to overpaid suits who buy yachts on the back of my hard work.
When Burton pointed out that charges in Britain are much cheaper than Ireland, Irish Life chief executive Gerry Hassett offered the Tesco Defence. Our charges are higher but that's because the market is smaller and our costs are greater. Yeah right. Just like Marks and Spencer and all the rest of them. Look, multinationals have huge economies of scale. Whether it's supermarkets or insurance companies, they rip off customers in Ireland for one reason: because they can.