Ireland Proposes To Tax Pensions

Tyler Durden's picture

Ireland just floated another proposal that is sure to be another big hit with the general population:

The various tax reduction and additional expenditure measures which I am announcing today will be funded by way of a temporary levy on funded pension schemes and personal pension plans. I propose that the levy will apply at a rate of 0.6% to the capital value of assets under management in pension funds established in the State.

It will apply for a period of 4 years commencing this year and is intended to raise about €470 million in each of those years. The levy will not apply to pension funds established here and providing services and benefits solely to non-resident employers and members. Further details regarding the proposed application of the levy are set out in the Summary of Initiative Measures.

I am conscious of the concerns of the pensions industry about the impact of a levy in circumstances where the pensions sector, in common with other sectors in our economy and society, is finding the current economic and financial environment very challenging. However, the imposition of the levy is for a relatively short period and its purpose is to improve that environment by providing the means to encourage job creation in areas of our economy most likely to deliver that employment quickly.

The levy is being confined to pension funds because I believe that the alternatives for increases in taxation elsewhere at this time would be more damaging to the economy. I will be glad to consult with the pensions industry on the legislative provisions which will give effect to the levy so as to seek to minimise, where possible, any unnecessary difficulties which this measure may give rise to.

The pension levy represents a very significant contribution by the pensions industry and the many individual savers it represents to our commitment to getting the economy moving again. I am aware that the pensions sector is also concerned, given the temporary levy, about the commitment in our agreement with the EU/IMF to reduce the tax relief on pension contributions starting next year. I will examine this issue in the context of the results of the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure currently being undertaken by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, and any resulting scope for fiscally neutral changes to the EU/IMF agreement.

While the debate of how much €470 million a year will bring to the economy at the expense of pensioners, as well as just how "relatively short term" this development will be is one thing, this latest scramble to raise funding (in lieu of Ireland's stubborn refusal to hike corporate tax rates... for now), is likely a precursor to what may and likely will happen to other "austere regimes" both in Europe, and soon in the US. We can just see it: soon enough pension funds will become demonized as being the sole beneficiaries of monetary largesse, and as a result will be forced to do their Robin Hood duty of funding various federal, state and local government empty coffers in a comparable taxation method. Ultimately, it presents the Chairman with yet one more reason to inflate risk assets as high as possible, before this "capital raising" process becomes a reality not only in Dublin, but in D.C. as well.

As for the alternative, the proposal of a financial transaction tax.... crickets.

h/t John

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max2205's picture


carbonmutant's picture

Consumers are the Krill at the bottom of the food chain,

Without their revenue the whales die.

That Peak Oil Guy's picture

You're probably thinking of phytoplankton, which krill feed on.

Your metaphor is good, but we do see the same behavior in the natural world, with humans doing things that kill off the phytoplankton, setting us up for long-term failure:


caconhma's picture

Now I understand an old saying that Irishmen are a missing link between a man and a monkey.

4shzl's picture

"the imposition of the levy is for a relatively short period"

LOL.  That's right, and I'll only stick it in a little ways -- just the pink part.  So be a good lad and grab your ankles . . .

JimBowie1958's picture

You know it.

There is no such thing as a temporary tax on anything.

Dr. Richard Head's picture

This true, but they will never get me pot of gold. 

CPL's picture


Only way to get out of debt is to tax the debt.

SilverRhino's picture

Actually this is a tax on the Irish equivalents of the 401K / IRA programs.  

Basically it boils down to the .gov stealing your retirement account piecemeal under color of law.

A.W.E.S.O.M.-O 4000's picture

I think that's "colour" of law laddie.

Harlequin001's picture

Actually the correct word is 'color'...

MonsterBox's picture

yeah, right.  once it's in, it's in forever. 

thanks, Mick.  now we'll try it out over here on our sheeple

Hacked Economy's picture

Reminds me of a recent attempt by our own U.S. Senators to introduce a tax on our 401(k) and IRAs.  They were laughed out of Dodge, but determined people looking to take your money always find their way back to try again.

Harlequin001's picture

There is no way that any government will default rather than steal pension fund assets. Or leave precious metals investors with their gold either, simply because they were so smart...

TheMadNumismatist's picture

To right! In the UK our private pensions funds just about match the national debt. As it does in the US. Now, with the furore over public sector pensions, it will be easy to distract the unwashed masses with an assault on the public sector. With the other hand they take private savings and hand over a few coupons for the soup kitchen.

Most people are so dumb they will actually THANK the scum bags for doing it and the sense of schadenfreude will assuage most.

falak pema's picture


Bob's picture

That was one large leg on the map that got them to their current position, after all.  Why change something that's workin' so well, I guess. 

Nels's picture

You are comparing an income tax with a wealth/property tax, which is not quite on target.  The neat and dirty trick is that by taxing the assets, rather than income from the assets, the government is assured a steady stream of money.  I wonder if they got the idea from the hedge funds 2+20 fee structure.  If so, yet another reason to hate the hedgies.


Harlequin001's picture

Correct, an income tax is dependent on these funds making money whereas a direct tax on assets such as this indicates that they know for certain that when the defaults arrive and the value of these funds plummets, they will still take their 'tax'. These funds are not going to make any profits.

The good thing about all of this is that after the collapse and ensuing revolution we will all have a system that protects individuals rights of ownership and prevents governments simply levying any old claim against some one's assets. That is more commonly known as stealing. Income is a different matter...

lynnybee's picture



BINGO !!!  throw the bums out / take back our countries .

bigwavedave's picture



longer range. now im thinking of retiring to ireland instead of Canada. 


Romford_Dave's picture

The Emerald Isle has been good for pensioners for a long time Bigwavedave as found out by UK mainstream media back in the summer of 96 Maybe not quite so much now after this latest ruse but there's still many a Molly to keep you feeling alive alive o even after the Guiness.

Hugh G Rection's picture

Just don't tax the whiskey, all hell would break loose...

tao400's picture

Don't laugh. That is the first step in confiscation of private assets by the state. Anyone who does not think this can extend to the US and to physical gold is a fool. The state/government will do whatever it damn well wants to do. This to me is beyond scary. They have moved from cutting the value of money/dollar to an outright confiscation.

Harlequin001's picture

Anyone who buys gold and silver is a fool, unless you've taken care of the tax issue first.

They will simply demand it from you and you will have no option but to pay.

economessed's picture

Why don't they just grab citizens at random by the ankles, lift them up, shake them, and take whatever money falls out of their pockets?

SheepDog-One's picture

Why dont we just grab bankers, put a rope around their necks and haul them up lamp posts?

Id fight Gandhi's picture

Oh my no. You can't tax corporations or bankers. They might stop laundering their money there. Just make the peons pay. If they don't throw them in debtors prison.

I've heard you can be jailed for not paying your mortgage there.

EscapeKey's picture

You can, but that would cause a substantial drop in tax revenues in Ireland, as they're all there to take advantage of the low rates.

And if you were to force all countries to have the same tax regulation, you'd effectively land in world government, and there's fuck all chance I'd trust any politician with that kind of power.

economessed's picture

OK, but who would continue paying-off the politicians if we snuffed-out all the bankers?

Francis Dollarhyde's picture

Well you see, we let COMEX handle our hemp reserves, and when we went to take delivery...

uno's picture

pay per view of gangsters (banksters) getting Mayan heart extraction


Troy Ounce's picture


The Irish gov is doing that before smashing them against the wall.

What is interesting is that the Irish population seems to like it.

ivana's picture

they better exectute 20-30% of "non-performing" population for start

A.W.E.S.O.M.-O 4000's picture

I think it's time for them to put down their pints, stop fucking sheep, and get on the ball.



What's that? I've just been informed that it is in fact the Welsh, and not the Irish, who are a bunch of sheep fuckers. Apologies to all parties concerned.

Xibalba's picture

Spooz on highs. 

SheepDog-One's picture

How is this news? This has been talked about for months now, of course pensions will be looted by the fat pigs in the banks!

Franken_Stein's picture


Allied Irish Banks and Anglo-Irish Bank.


In this context Sean FitzPatrick is tried for:

  • Temporarily transferring his loans from Anglo Irish Bank to Irish Life and Permanent to avoid financial statements
  • more Irish Life and Permanent transactions in 2008.
  • A Willie McAteer loan of 2008

David Drumm is tried for:

  • Temporarily transferring FitzPatrick's loans from Anglo Irish Bank to avoid the financial statements
  • The Irish Life and Permanent transactions in 2008.
  • The alteration of terms for ten key customers
  • Loans to four other key management personnel

Willie McAteer is tried for:

  • Temporarily transferring his loans from Anglo Irish Bank to avoid financial statements
  • The Irish Life and Permanent transactions in 2008.
  • Not declaring a loan in 2008

Peter Fitzpatrick is tried for:

  • Irish Life and Permanent transactions in 2008.


silvertrain's picture

I wonder if it applies to those who keep there pension in Krugerlands?

hugovanderbubble's picture

Middle Classes Destroyed...thanks.

  Uk Financial Institutions will be most affected by Irish Government Debt Haircuts schemes- Haircuts Range goes Between 40-60%- Sell Uk Financials next quarter. Peterssen, Hugo -


 Also Short Heavily GBP/EUR and GBP/USD for next 2 quarters,


BrianOFlanagan's picture

governments absolutely despise savers.  Stealing it through inflation is not enough for them, now they must tax it too.

topcallingtroll's picture

To spend on special interests and the politically connected to obtain faster "growth."

Harlequin001's picture

If you save, they can't sell you a bond either directly or through your pension fund...

Crack-up Boom's picture

No no - they love savers.  It's so easy to steal from savers!

Silver Bug's picture

Wow, they are simply hollowing out that country (as they are many others). They need to simply default on the banksters, and let the healing process begin.