Calls by the Irish Brokers’ Association to allow indebted households to get access to their pension funds have been dismissed by the government.
The IBA told an Oireachtas Committee last week that allowing people early access to their retirement savings would encourage people to save as the money would be more freely accessible.
Thousands of people currently struggling to meet mortgage repayments have money locked away in a pension, which they cannot touch until retirement age.
However, Jobs Minister John Perry said he was against the proposals as it “ran counter” to current proposals.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, the minister argued that pension savings should be viewed as a long-term investment and be “locked away until retirement.”
He said: “Allowing access to pension savings before retirement or pension age would be a significant change to pension policy and the basis of pension savings in Ireland.”
He said he could see why people were asking for such a facility but expressed his view that the “resulting reduction in pension savings could have significant negative consequences in the long term and in particular its fails to address the group who may be most affected by personal debt or mortgage arrears” as younger savers were unlikely to have “significant savings”.