Blog – David McCarthy – Galway Talks, 13/02/2014

galway-bayfmIssue:  Government announces name of new Mandatory Pension Scheme (My Saver), no date for introduction.

Comment: With an ageing population, there is no doubt that this country has a pension crisis.  The only way to address this is the introduction of a mandatory Pension Scheme.  However, over the years the inaction by Government in this area has been shocking. 

Unfortunately the current economic climate does not lend itself to imposing mandatory contributions on employers, so the introduction of any scheme is many years away.  I therefore find it extraordinary that Minister Joan Burton announced recently the name of any new scheme (My Saver), whenever it may be introduced.

 Talk about ‘putting the cart before the horse’ is an understatement.

Issue:    New survey reveals shocking increase in bank charges.

Comment:  A recent survey by the National Consumer Agency shows a shocking increase in the level of bank charges.  It appears that 34% of customers have lost their free banking in the last year. People are withdrawing larger amounts of cash and using their debit cards less frequently in order to avoid charges.

It is estimated that a family, where two parents each have a current account, would pay circa €260 this year in charges. 

57% of all current account holders never check to see if there is a better deal elsewhere.  In order to help consumers with comparing charges between the different banks, the NCA have a helpful guide on their website at CONSUMERHELP.IE