Property Taxation Administration

Ceisteanna (73)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

73. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the length of the external contract entered into by Revenue in respect of administrative assistance with the operation of the local property tax; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29957/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that the external contract for call service support was issued for a period of one year. Service delivery commenced in early March 2013. Revenue has confirmed that the LPT Helpline has handled in excess of 500,000 calls since commencement on 6 March.

Property Taxation Administration

Ceisteanna (74)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

74. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number of additional staff recruited by Revenue to assist with administration of the local property tax; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29958/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that staffing for Local Property Tax (LPT) was sourced from internal redeployment of staff and from the engagement of some temporary resources at clerical officer level (TCO). In regard to additional permanent staff, 29 were redeployed to Revenue from the Public Service Resource Panel. In regard to the TCO deployment to support the LPT Branch during the peak period, 86 staff were recruited on a phased basis from mid-February 2013 to mid-May. I am further advised that the resource savings to be realised from the transfer of Revenue's payroll operations to the shared service environment will provide an additional 18 permanent staff for the LPT Branch by August 2013. Finally, it will not be possible for Revenue to fully determine the staffing resource required to support the administration of LPT on an ongoing basis until it has bedded down and become a normal part of Revenue's annual business plans.

Pension Provisions

Question No. 76 withdrawn.

Ceisteanna (75)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

75. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance his views on the take up to date of measures contained in the budget to allow individuals access additional voluntary contributions prior to retirement; his further views on whether the projected revenue for 2013 from the measure will be attained; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29959/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

Finance Act 2013 provides members of occupational pension schemes with a three-year window of opportunity from 27 March 2013 during which they can opt to draw down, on a once off basis, up to 30% of the accumulated value of additional voluntary contributions (AVCs). This provision includes additional voluntary PRSA contributions made to AVC PRSAs. Administrators of AVC funds (including PRSA administrators) are required to provide, within 15 working days of the end of each quarter, commencing with the quarter ending on 30 June 2013, certain statistical information to Revenue in relation to AVC pre-retirement transfers or encashments made during the quarter in question. The information to be provided is as follows:

- The number of transfers made

- The aggregate value of transfers made, and

- The tax deducted from the aggregate value of the transfers made.

As the statistical information is not due until mid July and in respect of the first quarter in which the option is available, it is not possible at this stage to comment on whether the estimated tax yield from the measure in 2013 will be attained.

Question No. 76 withdrawn.

Pension Provisions

Ceisteanna (77, 78, 79)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

77. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if he will confirm the names of the three defined benefit pension schemes in Permanent TSB for employees who joined the bank before 2007; for each scheme, if he will state the number of current employees who are members; the number of deferred pensioners and the number of pensioners in receipt of a pension; the latest available deficit figure for each of the schemes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29989/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

78. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if he agrees or has sanctioned the decision of Permanent TSB to discontinue employer contributions to all the existing defined benefit pension schemes before the Labour Court has even adjudicated on the dispute; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29990/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

79. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if there is an executive pension scheme in Permanent TSB; if so, the number of current employees who are members; the number of deferred pensioners and the number of pensioners in receipt of a pension; if the company continues to make contributions to this scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29991/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 77 to 79, inclusive, together.

I have been informed by Permanent TSB that the names of the three defined benefit pension schemes in Permanent TSB are the Irish Permanent Pension Plan, the TSB Bank Pension scheme and the Irish Permanent Executives Pension Plan. The following table which has been provided to me by Permanent TSB sets out the latest available deficits in the schemes as at 31 December 2012 and the number of members, deferred pensioners and pensioners of each of the schemes as at 31 December 2011. The Deputy should note that the split of members is fluid and can change over time.

-

TSB Bank Scheme

Irish Permanent Pension Plan

Irish Permanent Executives Pension Plan

Total

Deficit €m

144

154

12

311*

Active Members

520

1,148

6

1,674

Deferred Members

687

1,126

19

1,832

Pensioners

156

105

25

286

Total Members

1,363

2,379

50

3,792

*The total deficit of €311 million is shown on Page 129 of the 2012 Annual Report.

The Deputy will observe that there is an Executives pension plan. I am informed by Permanent TSB that the Executives pension plan closed to new members in 2001. Permanent TSB has informed me that contributions to this scheme ceased in March 2013 and the active employees are included in the Defined Contribution schemes from June 2013.

As the Deputy may be aware a hearing is scheduled at the Labour Court on 21 June 2013 in relation to this matter. As I have stated previously space should be given for those negotiations to take place in a constructive manner. It is not appropriate for me to be involved in these detailed negotiations; rather the State's industrial relations machinery should be allowed to do its job.

As the Deputy will be aware there is a Relationship Framework in place with Permanent TSB which provides the basis on which the relationship between myself and Permanent TSB is governed. Under the terms of the Relationship Framework the bank operates as an independent economic entity and matters such as a wind-up of pension schemes fall within the purview of the bank. I can inform the Deputy that I have not been asked, and am not required, under the terms of the Relationship Framework to give approval for a wind-up of Permanent TSB's defined benefit pension schemes.

Pension Provisions

Ceisteanna (80)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

80. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide aggregate information on the number of persons that AIB, including EBS, wrote to requesting that they consider voluntarily foregoing a portion of their pension; the number that responded positively, negatively, or not at all; the number of the retired executives that have since actually foregone some of their pension entitlement and the overall value of the pensions entitlements that have been foregone by retired executives of the bank; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29996/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

As the Deputy will be aware AIB has previously indicated that it has written to former senior executives of both AIB and EBS requesting a voluntary reduction in their pension levels. AIB is not disclosing the names of the individuals on confidentiality grounds but the Bank has to date issued in excess of 30 letters. I have been informed by AIB that currently the bank is in discussions with a number of individuals and further disclosures could negatively affect the outcome of these discussions. Additionally the bank is not in a position to release information on former employees without the express consent of the individuals. This is an ongoing process from a tax, legal and revenue perspective and ultimately any reduction taken by an individual is purely on a voluntary basis.

IBRC Liquidation

Ceisteanna (81)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

81. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide a detailed update on the special liquidation of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation including the steps that have been taken to date by the special liquidator; if he will confirm the position in relation to the transfer of loans from IBRC to the National Assets Management Agency; if any discount will be applied to the loans in their transfer to NAMA; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29998/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

The Special Liquidators are continuing the orderly and efficient wind-down of IBRC in accordance with the provisions of the IBRC Act and instructions that have been provided to the Special Liquidators by me under the IBRC Act 2013. I have been informed by the Special Liquidators that they will comply with the timelines set out by me, as Minister, namely that the valuation of IBRC's loan assets be completed by 30 November 2013 and that the sale of IBRC assets be completed by 31 December 2013, or as soon as practicable thereafter.

The valuation process is on-going and I have been advised that at this point the Special Liquidators have not finalised plans in relation to the sale of IBRC loans assets. The Special Liquidators are taking professional advice on the appropriate method of disposing of loan assets, and on the appropriate criteria for determining who should qualify to bid for loan assets. In arriving at the valuation of an IBRC loan asset, the independent advisors have been advised to apply a discount rate of 4.5% in determining the value of future cash flows of the asset. Further, a discount of 2.32% will be applied across all loan asset valuations to take into account security and title issues associated with loan assets, to arrive at the Valuation Price. Should a bid not be received by a qualified bidder that is equal to or in excess of the Valuation Price then the asset/portfolio will transfer to NAMA.

I have been advised by the Special Liquidators that they will be writing to all IBRC borrowers to update them on the sale of their IBRC Loans and Collateral Obligations. The Special Liquidators are also providing borrowers with an opportunity to make written representations on the method of disposal of their loans and the criteria for determining who may bid for loan assets.

NAMA Debtors

Ceisteanna (82)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

82. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number of National Assets Management Agency debtors whom the agency has learned have to date been declared bankrupt outside of this jurisdiction; the number of such bankruptcies in different countries; the way NAMA has responded to this pattern; the total amount owed to NAMA by those who have been declared bankrupt outside of this jurisdiction; if NAMA is currently contesting any of these bankruptcy proceedings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29999/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

The Deputy may wish to refer to NAMA's Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2012, which contain extensive information regarding the Agency's operations, including, as set out in pages 26-27 in particular, its insolvency activity and on the locus of debtor bankruptcy proceedings.

It is important to point out that debtors are entitled to petition to bankrupt themselves in other jurisdictions if they are entitled to do so under the laws of that jurisdiction. The deputy will be aware that for a debtor to avail of bankruptcy in any given jurisdiction he/she must first of all establish that jurisdiction as his/her centre of main interest (COMI). The establishment of COMI is a matter for the relevant authorities in the jurisdiction in which bankruptcy is sought. NAMA advises that in each instance of bankruptcy involving a NAMA debtor it reviews its options and selects the most appropriate method of ensure the best possible return for the taxpayer. NAMA advises that it is currently challenging bankruptcy applications on the basis of COMI in two instances and in a further case is supporting the application of another secured bank with a view to having bankruptcy proceedings take place in Ireland.

As advised in NAMA's Annual Report and Financial Statements, the Agency, as a secured creditor, is generally neutral on the locus of bankruptcy proceedings and its experience has been that the location has not tended to prejudice recoveries. This position is based in part on its positive on-going engagement with several bankruptcy trustees of NAMA debtors who have been adjudged bankrupt in the UK. The Agency also advises that the bankruptcy regime in the UK is well established, sophisticated and that bankruptcy trustees under the UK system possess extensive powers to compel production of legal and banking information, on a cross-border basis, from the bankrupt. These powers have been used in bankruptcy cases involving NAMA debtors to uncover significant undeclared assets.

NAMA further advises that the comparatively shorter duration of bankruptcy in, for example, the UK is not a consideration for the Agency as the bankrupt's assets remain in the control of the bankruptcy trustee long after the bankrupt may have been discharged from bankruptcy and any failure to make full disclosure may result in the period of bankruptcy being extended. NAMA advises that it challenges the release from bankruptcy of any debtor in instances where there is non-cooperation with the bankruptcy trustee.

I am advised by NAMA that a total of 56 NAMA debtors have been declared bankrupt: 11 in Ireland, 44 in the UK and 1 in the US. Debtors who have been declared bankrupt outside of Ireland had, by reference to the nominal or par value of loans, exposure to debt of approximately €8 billion at the time of NAMA's acquisition of loans from the participating institutions. NAMA has enforced over the assets securing these loans and continues to realise these assets. When a debtor goes bankrupt what is generally available is the remaining unencumbered or unsecured assets. The role of the bankruptcy trustee is, therefore, to realise any other residual unencumbered assets, including properties and cash, which the bankrupt may have and to make a distribution to the creditors including NAMA. The bankruptcy trustee can also seek to have the bankrupt contribute from post-bankruptcy earnings through an income payment order.