At Least Your Private Pension Is Safe, Right?


Future chairman of the Ways and Means Committee

Not if you live in Ireland.

The Irish government plans to institute a tax on private pensions to drive jobs growth, according to its jobs program strategy, delivered today. […]

The tax on private pensions will be 0.6%, and last for four years, according to the report.

Link via the Twitter feed of James Pethokoukis, who adds "Is this America in 5 years? […] Remember that some Ds want to kill 401k plans and funnel us into Social Security-plus plans. And the next step…"

NEXT: Is Obama Serious About Immigration Reform?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. and last for four years

    Ah yes. The “temporary” government plan, the only path to immortality.

    1. The tax on private pensions will be 0.6%, and last for four years, according to the report.

      Ireland 2030: 15% rate extended through 2040.

  2. I’d like to think that the people who work in America would finally rise up if they tried that.

    What? What are you doing? Stop laughing, you bastards!

    1. I wonder. Taking people’s retirement savings and replacing them with…nothing (or Social Security, same difference) might push us over the edge. When you’ve nothing left to lose…

    2. I sometimes wonder what our country would have been like for the past 80 years, if it hadn’t been modeled on the “Lucy and a football” system.

      1. I, like many others, think America jumped the shark at The Whiskey Rebellion. It showed that our young government was fine with unfair taxation that filled their coffers instead of Britain’s.

        1. Eh, what do a bunch of drunk farmers know about paying for civilization?

        2. Damn, we didn’t even make it through our second season, did we? (Assuming the Season 1 cliffhanger was the siege at Yorktown, and the first episode of Season 2 was the British surrender).

          1. Truly, we were the Heroes of countries…

            1. If only we could have been the BSG of countries, with a solid-looking Edward James Olmos leading us to freedom.

              1. Naw, I’d prefer a country with better long-term writers.

                “The Cylons have a plan! But it turns out that’s not really important and we’ll never tell you anything about it.”

            2. “Save the hooch, save the world.”

  3. “Remember that some Ds want to kill 401k plans and funnel us into Social Security-plus plans.”

    How about just doing a) without b). There’s no reason why investment saving should get any sort of tax break. Call a spade a spade.

    1. *call a spade a spade – if you’re going to raid people’s savings through taxation you should admit you’re doing it.

    2. 401(k)s are the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down. Kill them and it becomes too clear that SS is total scam.

      Just like means-testing SS would wake people up to the fact that it’s a welfare program and not a government run retirement account.

    3. There’s no reason why investment saving should get any sort of tax break.

      You get a “tax break” today in exchange for being taxed in the future.

      And if you think your future tax rate is going to be lower than your present tax rate, you deserve what you get.

    4. Idiotic. Why should it be taxed at all? It’s already been taxed once, as income. Unless you beleive the proles don’d have the capacity to take care of themselves and shouldn’t suffer any consequences if they don’t.

  4. Time to start investing in coffee cans and shovels. Oh, and a good map too.

    1. Send me a copy of the map.

    2. As long as you hire a union member to dig…..

  5. I was on the floor at the Chicago Democratic Convention in 1996 when I heard Jesse Jackson make this proposal:
    “America has $6 trillion in private and public pension funds. We could take 5 percent of the workers’ money, with workers’ consent, government secured, to rebuild our infrastructure.”

    Didn’t cause a ripple.

    1. They didn’t even giggle when he got to “consent?”

      1. I think I did a spit-take. But everyone else? Nothin’.
        Really. I don’t even remember any significant coverage of his speech, despite that he had just proposed one of the most radical expropriations of wealth in recent history.
        (My newsroom masters had wisely restricted me to light feature pieces, of course, so I didn’t write of it either.)

      2. Consent of the governed. If you don’t move to Somalia, you’ve consented. Bingo bango.

        1. Agreed.

          If you choose to live here, then shut up and pay your fair share.

          1. Define “fair share”

  6. OT: Osama’s ad revealed:

    “She must be pious, dutiful, young [preferably aged 16-18],
    well mannered, from a decent family, but above all patient.
    She will have to endure my exceptional circumstances.”

  7. I’ve concluded that it does not make sense to invest in anything given the current political trends. I cashed out my meager stock portfolio right before the 2008 crash and used the money to hang out in El Paso for 2 months. Now, I’m cool enough to make a living as a writer. Turns out, that a 2 month vacation was a better investment in 2008 than the stock market was.

    1. The investments I made in 2008 are way up.

      1. Yes, but isn’t the cost of food and fuel way up as well? At least you can buy a rerally awesome phone and an iPad, I guess.

  8. a tax… to drive jobs growth

    How the fuck is this kind of nonsense reported as fact?

    1. I’m surprised there wasn’t anything in the article about how cutting government spending would slash GDP.

    2. As long as the jobs are government jobs it makes perfect sense.

    3. If you don’t have any money you’ll need to get a job.

  9. The great part is the Gubmint employees’ plans in Ireland are exempt.

    1. Isn’t that like 50% of the workforce in most Eurostates? Never forget who works for whom.

    2. I wouldn’t expect any different. Anyone want to try to convince me that government isn’t a band of thieves?

  10. Government should tax taxes. It wouldn’t even have to be a lot. Say .5%. Pay $1,000 in taxes, add the .5% tax to that, then add the .5% tax to that, ad infinitum.

    Funding problem solved.

    1. Problem?

    2. It has been done.

      In the 1990s, Canada had a ‘surtax’ of 3% of the income tax.

    3. You would pay $1,005.03 in taxes.

      Calculus is a bitch.

  11. Aren’t private pensions already taxed by the Feds at one’s marginal tax rate??? Seems to me I get a 1099 for pension and have to put it on my 1040.

    1. My understanding of the proposal is that it would tax the current value of your pension holdings even if you’re not taking distributions.

      The US taxes distributions from pensions/401k plans, but while the funds are accumulating, they are not taxed.

      I think the Irish proposal would be like the Feds assessing a tax on the current value of your 401k, even if you’re 35.

  12. Outright nationalization (theft) of private pensions has a lot of precedent.…..-some.html

    What did Willie Sutton say: “because that’s where the money is.”

  13. Right, a “temporary” pensions tax. Let’s try a little thought experiment:

    Step 1: “Temporary” retirement-account tax enacted.

    Step 2: Everyone with a private retirement account either cashes it out or cuts the rate of contribution to it.

    Step 3: Stock market takes a dive without all these dollars coming into the retirement funds.

    Step 4: Tax revenues are less than expected, due to both Step 2 and Step 3.

    Step 5: Government decides that retirement-account tax needs to be higher, and a bit less “temporary”.

    Step 6: Go back to Step 2, and repeat as necessary.

    1. That would be totally unexpected!

  14. 0.6 percent of the total value of the account, per year, forever (I mean, er, for four years, yeah that’s the ticket)???? Yikes! It’s not even a tax on the earnings in the account, it’s just a wealth grab.

    America’s leaders would never be quite so brazen. They will probably just force us to put a portion of our private retirement accounts in government bonds, then default on them (or pay them back with inflated cash, same thing.)

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.