Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Make your pension contribution early

There has been some confusion over the Supplementary Budget's 1% levy on life assurance policy premiums, which takes effect on 1/6/2009. It's not 100% clear whether or not this applies to pension contributions as well as life assurance premiums. We are awaiting clarification on this.

Got a note from Hibernian Aviva today - "Hibernian Aviva Life & Pensions Ltd is working with the Irish Insurance Federation and other life assurance companies to clarify the impact of the proposed levy and we are seeking to mitigate its effect on customers.

We want to assure you that we will be doing everything we can to lobby the Department of Finance to re-think the imposition of this proposed levy and to convey to them the potential damage that it will have on the Life & Pensions industry."

I fully support their efforts, as adding a levy like this to a pension product is simply a reduction in the tax relief by another name.

However, if this is going to be the case, there's a strong argument in favour of making pension contributions prior to 1/6/2009 and thus avoiding the 1% levy. This would be especially relevant to the self-employed who would normally pay their annual pension contributions in October or November.

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