SSIA style product needed to tackle pensions – Finneran

An SSIA style incentive scheme is needed to promote pension products, according to Fianna Fáil TD Michael Finneran.             ‘The lack of pensions among people cannot continue at the current level and, collectively, we must work together to deal with the current crisis. Only half of the country’s workforce has personal pensions – this is a startling statistic. A lot of young people think that pensions are a worry for the future. Approximately half a million people under 35 have no provision made.             ‘But personal pensions are worth investing in early. The more time a person puts in to a pension fund, the more they will be able to get from it in later years. The number of people aged over 65 will treble inside the next decade – this is something that people need to consider if they are thinking of relying solely on the State pension.             ‘The social welfare pension is increasing all the time under the current Government, but most people would experience a considerable drop in income if they were to rely solely on it for income in their retirement. Many people will benefit from maturing SSIA schemes in the coming months and I would like to urge them to consider the incentives introduced last year by the Minister for Finance.             ‘For every €3 of SSIA savings reinvested in a pension produce, the Exchequer will contribute €1 by way of a tax credit. The fact that a person can only earn a gross salary of €50,000 to avail of this is a positive thing. But two points are relevant, firstly the incentive applies up to a maximum of €7,500 and secondly you must do this within three months of your SSIA maturing.             ‘In my view this is only a start and as a Government we have to take a very serious look at the current way pensions are administered. It is my belief that further schemes, but over a longer period, have to be explored and introduced. An SSIA style pension scheme should be examined.’