Written answers

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

8:00 pm

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Dublin West, Labour)
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Question 95: To ask the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 65 of 27 May 2010, if he will set out the amount of tax relief, for 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009, granted to individuals in respect of pension relief on contributions to pension funds with a value in excess of €1 million, €2 million, €3 million, €4 million and €5 million; his plans to reduce to standard fund threshold and personal fund threshold in line with falling income and prices for 2009 and 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23782/10]

Photo of Brian Lenihan JnrBrian Lenihan Jnr (Minister, Department of Finance; Dublin West, Fianna Fail)
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I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the provision of tax relief on pension contributions is not required to be linked to the values of pension funds in the manner set out in the question. Accordingly, there is no data available on which to provide the figures being sought.

The maximum allowable pension fund that an individual can build up from tax-relieved contributions is known as the Standard Fund Threshold or SFT. The SFT is a lifetime limit which was introduced in Budget and Finance Act 2006 at an initial level of €5 million and was increased in line with an indexation factor in 2007 and 2008 to its current value of just over €5.4 million. A higher limit (the Personal Fund Threshold — PFT) was also introduced in Budget and Finance Act 2006 for individuals whose pension fund values exceeded €5 million on the date the SFT was introduced (7 December 2005) and the PFT was also increased in line with an indexation factor in 2007 and 2008. In accordance, however, with the decision made in Budget 2009, there was no indexation of the SFT or PFT for 2009. Penal tax charges apply to any funds in excess of the thresholds.

The current level of the SFT will be kept under review as part of the normal Budgetary and Finance Bill process.


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