Wednesday, September 26 08:44:20
One of the country's most senior civil servants has said that it does not make financial sense to allow people to access their pension nest eggs early to allow them to reduce heavy mortgage debts. Department of Finance secretary general John Moran told a pensions conference that officials had looked at this but rejected it as a way of tackling high debt levels. "It's very superficially attractive but, when you actually get down into the detail, you find that the complexity of unravelling that further benefit that you get doesn't seem to stack up," he said at the conference hosted by State-owned pensions company Irish Life.
Mr Moran said it did not make sense when it came to trying to strike a balance between encouraging people to save more for the future and trying to help people out of current financial difficulties. Gerry Hassett, chief executive of Irish Life Retail, said there were situations where early access to pensions made sense and that while tapping them was complex there was "a way through that". "There is no point in raiding the piggy bank today and creating an even bigger problem for the future. I think the issue is whether at the margins in certain situations it makes sense," said Mr Hassett. Mr Moran said suggestions the Government should release the pension levy to encourage investment in the economy was "missing the point". The focus should be on developing investment products that allow the pension industry to fund infrastructural projects. The Irish Times
Mitt Romney, US Presidential candidate presidency, has invested in a company called Alpstar CLO 2. It has an address at Harbourmaster Place in the IFSC and had assets last year worth E463m. Alpstar CLO 2, which has connections with a Swiss company of the same name, buys distressed bonds in companies, mainly in the healthcare, food, leisure, telecommunications and construction industry.
Although the company is based in Dublin, it had only 0.4pc of its capital invested in Ireland in 2011 (down from 1pc in 2010). About half of the investments are in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany. Alpstar is typical of hundreds of funds based in the IFSC which cater to the investment needs of wealthy individuals but fly below the radar. The Irish Independent
XXXX Aer Lingus has stepped up efforts to tackle a planned capital reduction that has been held up by the courts due to on-going pension talks. The airline said it had tapped non-executive director Francis Hackett -- who was appointed to the board by the then government in 2006 -- to head a special internal legal committee tasked with addressing the issue. He's the former managing partner of law firm Eversheds O'Donnell Sweeney. Aer Lingus has sought to reduce its reserves through a normal High Court procedure so that it can release E500m in capital to pay dividends to shareholders.
But in July High Court judge Justice Roderick Murphy refused to approve the move unless the airline made a provision for possible legal claims that could arise from a E700m-plus deficit at a pension scheme. The scheme serves thousands of former and current Aer Lingus and DAA staff. Earlier this month, the attempt by Aer Lingus to reduce the capital level was adjourned until next month