Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said there will be no end to the pension levy for many workers despite the government spin that the levy will end next year.
Deputy Doherty said:
“Over the last number of weeks I have been approached by a number of retired workers in private pension funds who have been informed that because of the pension levy, their pensions will be cut until the end of their lives. These companies are large companies with hundreds if not thousands of employees who now face an annual reduction of up to 2.3%.
“For these pensioners and workers who have not yet retired the levy is another austerity tax that will not end in any recovery.
“On its introduction, Minister Noonan stressed that this was a temporary measure but now, years later, it is becoming apparent that for many workers this levy will mean a permanent reduction in their pensions. When the levy was mooted Sinn Fein called for extra safeguards to make sure this levy wasn’t simply passed onto pensioners and workers. Our proposals were rejected and now years later that bitter fruit is ripening.
“There may be an element of pension trusts using the levy as an excuse to inflict cuts and if so the government must examine this issue and make sure pensioners are not being treated unfairly.
“I am calling on the Minister and the Finance Committee to call in the pensions industry and the Pensions Ombudsman in to sort out what is permissible under the legislation and to ascertain the full rights available to pensioners.”