Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Questions (143)

John Lyons


143. Deputy John Lyons asked the Minister for Finance if he will bring forward the date, by three or six months from January 2014, for the reduction in tax relief on pensions of more than €60,000 per annum; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11033/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

In Budget 2013, I announced that changes to the maximum allowable pension fund at retirement for tax purposes (the Standard Fund Threshold - SFT) and other possible changes to give effect to the commitment in the Programme for Government to cap taxpayers’ subsidies for pension schemes which deliver pension income of more than €60,000 will be put in place in 2014. The existing SFT regime is designed to cater for relatively small numbers of individuals. The current structure and operation of the regime, which applies across all pension arrangements in the private and public sectors, would not effectively or efficiently cope with an expected minimum ten-fold increase in the numbers of individuals who would be affected by the Budget decision. A number of significant and fundamental changes to the current SFT regime may be required in order to deliver on the decision announced in the Budget. Alternatives to the use of the SFT regime to deliver on the Government’s commitment will also be explored and consultations will be required with, among others, various Departments and this will take time. For these reasons, I am not in a position to accede to the request in the Deputy’s question.