Tuesday 13 March 2007: The Pensions Board has today called on SSIA holders to address their pension provision with their SSIA savings. Nearly 45% of SSIA holders are young first time savers under the age of 40 and the Board believes that continuing the savings habit post SSIA release could provide a significant boost to the pension coverage situation in Ireland if these savers shift their focus to pension provision.
Speaking today, Brendan Kennedy, Chief Executive of The Pensions Board said: “With so many people receiving their SSIA savings this year, now is an excellent time to start a pension. Over the next two months the remaining SSIA accounts mature and in excess of 500,000 people will share in the over €7billion payout. A very encouraging outcome of the SSIA scheme is that people have quickly developed a habit of saving and we would encourage these people to keep up the savings habit in the form of a pension.
One in four of those without a pension have an SSIA and The Pensions Board is encouraging them to take positive action in 2007 by using some or all of their SSIA savings to start a pension and to avail of the associated tax benefits and incentives. The Pensions Board has posted an SSIA / Pension calculator on www.pensionsboard.ie to show consumers the positive impact that their SSIA could have on their pension.
“A pension is a more profitable scheme than an SSIA, but it is simply conducted over a longer term. The Pensions Board is confident that many SSIA holders will realise that 2007 is the year that they can kick-start their pension with a significant lump sum from their SSIA savings,” said Mr Kennedy.
National Pensions Action Week this week involves an intensive advertising and promotional focus on the key age targets of 25 – 39 and will include on-the-street promotional activity, outdoor, ambient and online advertising, national print advertising, regional and national radio and TV advertising. The Pensions Board advice during Pensions Action Week is to stop putting it off and start your pension. So talk to your employer, pick up the phone to a provider, talk to a parent or friend about pensions and check out the online Pension calculator or the SSIA calculators on www.pensionsboard.ie .
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Head of Information and Training
The Pensions Board
Tel: (01) 6131900
Project Manager- National Pensions Action Campaign
The Pensions Board
Tel: (01) 6131900
Jackie Gallagher / Mark Leech Q4 PR Tel: (01) 4751444
About The Pensions Board
The Pensions Board is the statutory body set up to regulate occupational pension schemes and PRSAs and to advise the Minister for Social and Family Affairs, and through him, the Government, on overall pension policy development.
The information Unit at The Pensions Board provides a wide range of pension information booklets free of charge and can be reached at the LoCall number 1890-65-65-65 and on www.pensionsboard.ie.
The Finance Act 2006 included incentives for lower income SSIA holders. The Act provides that the Exchequer will pay a bonus directly into the pension account of €1 for every €3 transferred, up to a maximum bonus of €2,500. In addition, the exit tax on cashing one’s SSIA on maturity will be refunded in proportion to the amount of SSIA transferred into the pension account. The bonus and exit tax refund will be an alternative to normal pensions tax relief at one’s marginal tax rate. This incentive is restricted to SSIA holders with an income limit of €50,000. Further information on this incentive is available on www.revenue.ie .