Ireland plans pension fund grab

Ireland plans to levy private pension funds a tax on their assets, a grab at private retirement funds, while exempting government workers' pensions from the confiscation. The Irish Times reports:

PRIVATE SECTOR pension funds will be hit with a €1.9 billion levy to fund the jobs initiative.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan announced yesterday that the Government was introducing a pension levy of 0.6 per cent, which will be paid each year for four years. The levy is expected to raise €470 million a year, some €1.9 billion in total.

The Government has also said it will need to introduce legislation to allow pension funds for the first time to cut the level of pensions paid to people in retirement. Until now pensions already being paid were untouchable. (snip)

The levy will not be applied to pensions in the public sector or to those established for people not resident in the State - a measure to protect the funds industry (snip)

Personal Retirement Savings Accounts and retirement annuity contracts will also be hit.

Over its lifetime the levy will amount to a charge of 2.4 per cent of the value of pension funds.

The Obama administration surely must be watching with great interest. This is one of those "temporary" taxes that rarely disappear.
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