Unlocking pensions before retirement age could help boost economy

Speaking today (Thursday) during Topical Issues Debates, Fine Gael Dun Laoghaire Deputy, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has said that a provision to allow people to unlock their pensions before retirement age could give a boost to domestic economic activity.

The Deputy has submitted a Parliamentary Question to the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, asking for him to make a statement on the matter.

“By allowing people to access their pensions early, it could offer a much needed shot in the arm for the local economy. Providing for early pension liquidity could act as supplementary measure to those contained in Budget 2012.

“Making pensions accessible before maturity would provide essential funds that could be used to stimulate economic activity. The Government is already working assiduously to use scarce resources to maximum effect and to reduce our costs while allowing for growth. Yesterday in the Finance Bill, provision was made to take 330,000 people out of the tax net by exempting them from the Universal Social Charge. Provision was also made to assist those in negative equity by increasing mortgage interest relief to 30% for first-time buyers who bought their homes during the peak period of 2004-2008.

“For those at the other end of the scale, who may be coming close to retirement age but are not quite there yet, altering the pension system to allow them to unlock and use part of their savings now, would enable them to spend their money today to stimulate economy growth tomorrow.

“I am meeting IBEC and the Irish Brokers Association, both of whom are in favour of such a move, early next week to progress the proposal. I look forward to a positive outcome and to the Minister’s forthcoming response.”

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