Dáil Éireann - Volume 628 - 22 November, 2006

Written Answers. - Pension Provisions.

Mr. Stanton asked the Minister for Finance the estimated amount including AVCs and PRSAs paid by Irish taxpayers into pension plans and schemes approved by the Revenue Commissioners Office in each of the last most recent three years for which data is available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39647/06]

  Mr. Cowen: I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that figures of contributions to “Retirement Annuity Contracts” (RACs), which are available to the self-employed and to employees not in occupational pension schemes, and to PRSAs, for the tax years 2001, 2002 and 2003 (the latest available) are as follows:

Pension contributions relating to RACs and PRSAs

Amount of deduction

2001

2002

2003

€m

€m

€m

RACs

488

671

698

PRSA*

Not Available

Not Available

15

* Figure for PRSAs reflect the relative early stage of the scheme which was introduced in 2002.

[341] The figures in respect of employee and employer contributions to occupational pension schemes represent estimates in aggregate form provided on a tentative basis.

Subject to these limitations, and using some data obtained from The Pensions Board, the approximate overall employee contributions are estimated as follows:

Employee Pension Contributions

2001

2002

2003

€m

€m

€m

Estimated contributions

1,323

1,943

2,072

As regards employer contributions to employee occupational pension funds, using the estimated level of employee contributions as a basis and making certain assumptions as to the total amount of employer contributions, approximate overall contributions from tax liable and non-liable employers are estimated as follows:

Employer Contributions 2001/2002/2003

€m

€m

€m

Estimated contributions

3,969

5,827

6,216

It should be noted, in relation to 2001, that as this was the “short” tax year on foot of the move to the calendar-based tax year, the 2001 figures will not be directly comparable with those of later years.

These figures are very tentative and efforts are being made to improve information on the cost of tax relief for pensions.