Govt urged to make SSIA-type top-ups to pension accounts

The Pensions Board has recommended that the State top up contributions to Personal Retirement Savings Accounts in a similar way to the SSIA scheme.

In a review of the pensions situation published today, the board recommends a range of measures designed to boost pensions coverage.

The review was commissioned amid growing concerns about the fact that 900,000 private-sector employees have no pensions.

Commentators believe Ireland is facing a ‘pensions time-bomb’ unless action is taken to address this situation.

The most noteworthy aspect of today’s review is a proposal that the Government make contributions to PRSAs matching the sums being placed in the accounts by workers themselves.

PRSAs were introduced a number of years ago in an effort to increase the number of people with pensions, but they have so far failed to attract much interest.

Other recommendations contained in the review include allowing people limited access to PRSA funds before the age of 45, as well as higher tax relief for pension contributions and incentives for people to reinvest their SSIA savings in private pensions.

Minister for Social and Family Affairs Seamus Brennan has promised to consider the proposals, but said the cost of the measures would have to be evaluated before any decision was made.

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