Thursday, 4 November 2004

Questions (132)

Brian O'Shea

Question:

129 Mr. O’Shea asked the Minister for Finance his proposals to allow tax relief on payments into pension schemes made by legally separated spouses in cases in where the only income is maintenance payments (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27662/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Finance)

Relief from income tax is available for contributions to a pension by an individual with earnings from a trade, profession or employment. The rationale is that a pension is designed to replace earnings made before retirement. Maintenance payments are not classed as earned income. Maintenance payments should not stop at the normal retirement age. Moreover, if a person had some of these non-maintenance earnings from a trade, profession or employment in addition to maintenance, tax relief would be available on the pension contributions from the non-maintenance source. The Family Law Acts provide that where a spouse is entitled to a pension, a portion of the benefits can be "earmarked" for the dependent spouse by the courts.