Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 1 November 2014

Kenny orders pension fees probe

Enda Kenny has ordered an investigation into exorbitant pension fees

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has ordered an investigation into exorbitant pension fees amid the fall-out over a controversial new levy on private retirement packages.

The Department of Finance confirmed it will launch an inquiry into administration costs and the salaries of senior fund managers at Irish pension providers within weeks.

Defending the private pensions levy to bankroll the coalition's jobs initiative, Mr Kenny said fees could be slashed to levels in the UK, which he said were a fraction of Irish charges.

"I do believe this is a matter that should be looked at," he said.

"This is not a tax on any individual pension, it is a levy on the funds, for four years, of a very modest proposal of 0.6%. It's a temporary measure designed to stimulate the indigenous economy here."

Mr Kenny described as "constructive" suggestions by Independent TD Shane Ross that money could be more fairly raised by targeting wealthy pension fund managers rather than struggling savers.

Former senator Mr Ross said the Irish pension industry was "a swamp of hidden fees, up front fees and riches for people who actually do not deliver to the people who they are milking".

He said the government's controversial levy will take money out of the hands of ordinary pension holders rather than from excessive charging.

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