Supporting Pension Contributions Through the Tax System: Outcomes, Costs and Examining Reform

Micheál L. Collins, Gerard Hughes


Using the taxation system as a means of supporting contributions to pensions is a long standing and increasingly important policy tool. This paper examines the effectiveness of that tool using new data for Ireland in 2014. Looking at contributions from employees, employers and individuals into private pensions, we show the relatively small size of most pension contributions and highlight the challenges these imply for the adequacy of future pension income. Distributively, our results demonstrate a concentration of supports among those on the highest earnings and on the highest incomes and raise questions regarding the more efficient use of these resources.


pensions; taxation; tax reform; Ireland

Full Text: