Some experts  fear that  allowing retirees to cash in all their pension at retirement could see a surge in spending on cruises and holidays - therefore impacting the long term sustainability of pension funds. (Photograph: Xaume Olleros/Bloomberg)

Pension expert warns that cashing in pension pot early can raise sustainability issues

Irish savers are earning less of a return on their deposits than their European peers figues from the ECB show.

Irish savers earning just 0.18% on fixed term deposits compared with 1.69% in the Netherlands

Speaking on Bloomberg TV, Mr O’Brien said that Digicel, of which he is the principal shareholder, is still “highly profitable” and that he will keep investing heavily in the Caribbean and South Pacific mobile operator, including buying other businesses. (Photograph: Swoan Parker/Reuters)

Businessman says Caribbean mobile operator remains ‘highly profitable’

This quarter will be a tricky period” for many Irish manufacturing firms, ahead of June’s EU referendum in the UK, given that it is the destination for roughly one-seventh of Irish merchandise exports. (Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire)

Upcoming Brexit referendum cited as a key risk for Irish exporters

Deciding how to generate an income from your pension pot is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever makeunhappy senior couple worrying about expenses

Retirees these days face the daunting task of deciding how to make their fund last for the rest of their lives

Nationally, property prices rose by 7.4 per cent in the twelve months to March 2016, figures show, down from an increase of 16.8 per cent in the same period to March 2015. (Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES)

Figures point to further growth in Dublin but recovery outside the capital may be softening

Alan Gilbert conducts the New York Philharmonic, the National Concert Hall’s top-grossing event in 2015. (Photograph: Chris Lee)

Some 320,000 people visited the National Concert Hall in 2015 but rising expenses sees venue report €300,000 deficit

Consumer Price Index: gives an insight into how Irish families have changed their eating habits, their houses and how they entertain themselves

Consumer Price Index tracks inflation but reveals goods and services that have fallen out of favour

Paul Dowling has left the board of Petroneft although he  will remain as chief financial officer of the company. (Photograph: Frank Miller /	THE IRISH TIMES)

Board shake-up sees Maxim Korobov join the board of oil explorer

KPMG managing partner Shaun Murphy: “Continued economic growth has provided opportunities for Irish-based businesses to expand their operations.”  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Numbers employed by KPMG, PwC, EY and Deloitte also increase by 12% last year

Lorcan O’Connor, director of the  Insolvency Service, said on Tuesday that applications for debt relief are likely to continue to increase over the coming months. (Photograph: Eric Luke / THE IRISH TIMES)

New measures which allow decisions on family homes to be reviewed cited as driving growth

Property search: figures from indicate that the average national asking price is now €208,000. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Property purchasers struggling to save more than a 10% deposit should remember that there are ways to get exempted from the rules

Ireland’s Cian O’Connor takes flight during last year’s Horse Show at Dublin’s RDS. The venue is set to redevelop its main arena, at a cost of about €35 million, after next year’s Horse Show.

Redevelopment of main arena set to commence after 2017 Horse Show

Ulster Bank is set to cut its four-year fixed mortgage rate to a market beating 3.29 per cent, in an effort to attract switchers as part of a consumer initiative led by One Big Switch. (Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times)

Bank has linked up with consumer group One Big Switch to offer lower fixed rate loans to switchers has just launched in Ireland, allowing	Irish savers to access the online platform to shop around for the best deposit rates across Europe. has linked up with Czech and Polish banks to offer savers returns of up to 2.2%

If you want to stay tuned for the next series of House of Cards in high definition you’ll have to be prepared to pay €2 more for your subscription if you were one of the early adoptees of the service. (Photograph: David Giesbrecht/Netflix)

Streaming service is set to put all customers on level paying field from May

The voyage ahead: while technological leaps such as internet banking may be harder for some older people to avail of, some insurance and mortgage services actively penalise those who are older – or refuse them service completely

Web-only deals, mortgage rejection or insurance refusal: there is financial ageism

Buoyant sales of Easter eggs and legs of lamb saw supermarket sales jump by 4.6 per cent in the first quarter of the year, as SuperValu retained its grip on the top spot with a near 25 per cent market share.

Irish grocery chain holds onto the top spot as Lidl reports fastest ever sales increase

German banks  came to Dublin to avail of the IFSC 10 per cent corporation tax regime in the 1990s. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Departure from IFSC is one in series of German banks withdrawing from Dublin

Property prices rose by 1.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2016, Sherry Fitzgerlad said on Monday, as it warned that the price increases “mask the true dysfunctional nature of the market”. (Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES)

Market is ‘dysfunctional’ and may worsen as supply of property falls to lowest on record and investors flee

Hostelworld said it has made good progress in Asia, which is the fastest growing destination region (+10%), while South Korea is now the seventh highest nationality for Hostelworld brand bookings.

Travel website will pay maiden dividend of 2.75 cents a share

Life’s a beach: the problem facing countries all around the world is how will they continue to pay for pension benefits at a time when the population is living longer than ever before

With the number of over-65s in Ireland projected to increase from 570,000 to 855,000 in the coming decade, the pension time bomb(...)

According to the latest figures from Rubicon Investment Consulting, the top performing Irish managed pension fund during March was Setanta Asset Management , with a return of 2.4 per cent. Merrion Investment Managers was bottom of the table with a zero return.

March was a ‘strong’ month for pension funds but funds are down 7% on the year

Central Bank chief economist Gabriel Fagan. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Review of regulations will not lead to their abolition, says chief econimist

Introduced in February 2015, the Central Bank’s new mortgage rules limit the amount home buyers can borrow, typically to 3.5 times their gross income up to a limit of 80 per cent of the purchase price of the property.

Rules may in fact be tightened Central Bank economist says

The Central Bank has revised its growth forecast upwards for the Irish economy for 2016, and is now predicting growth of 5.1 per cent, up from 4.8 per cent previously.

Regulator says strong growth in domestic demand will push GDP growth up to 5.1% this year

The transaction, which was first announced in September 2015, includes UDG’s Irish pharmaceutical distribution businesses United Drug Supply Chain Services business, United Drug Sangers business, TCP Group, as well as its UK based travel healthcare business MASTA, to McKesson.(Photograph: David Sleator/THE IRISH TIMES)

Deal includes Irish United Drug business and positions UDG to grow its higher margin business

According to Investec’s Manufacturing PMI, the rate of growth in new orders quickened in March, while new export orders index picked up slightly from February’s two-year low, with the UK and Asia credited with this improvement.

Despite growth pace of expansion remains slower than in 2014

Irish consumers are increasingly paying down debt and appear either reluctant - or unable - to borrow more, figures from the Central Bank show.

Figures for February show dip in savings but consumers still save more than they owe

Ferry operator Brittany Ferries has reported a “significant increase” in bookings for its ferry routes to France this summer, as Irish holidaymakers seek out the sun and soccer fans seek to support their team at Euro 2016.

Brittany Ferries reports 19% increase in early bookings

Non-executive chairman Micheal Chadwick is to retire after more than 40 years with the Grafton Group. (Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES)

Long serving executive will be replaced by Bunzl CEO Michael Roney

Wireless said that factors behind the failure of UTV Ireland to capture a significant market share included consumer confusion around both re-tuning of digital receivers and also programming inconsistencies with the long established UTV Northern Ireland. (Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times)

Former owner of UTV Ireland says radio advertising growth still slow

While competition is still not strong enough to warrant free fees across the board, there are signs that banks are improving their offerings, with reduced fees now easier to come by

Irish people are lazy about changing banks but a bit of research can really pay off

Karen Malone, managing director of Centaur, with her founding partners  Ronan Daly (left) and Eric Bertrand

Small Business Inside Track Q&AKaren Malone, Centaur

Ireland is decreasing its government debt at the fastest rate in the euro zone, according to new data from Bloomberg.  File photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Irish people are still carrying the second highest per capita debt burden in the world

New EU-wide responsible lending practices have been introduced

Measures include a cooling-off period to allow borrowers to shop around

Dublin based reinsurer Arch Reinsurance Europe has been fined €275,000 by the Central Bank for breaches of the corporate governance code. (Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times)

Arch Reinsurance Europe has been fined for breaches of the corporate governance code

Paul McNamara,  chief executive, said that IFG now has a “ very clear strategic focus”. (Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times)

New focus on wealth management pays dividends for financial services firm

Peter Maguire, business manager at Massey Bros Funeral Directors

Death is inevitable so if you can bear to plan ahead here is what you need to know

Ratings agency Moody’s upgraded its economic forecasts for Ireland to 5 per cent on Tuesday, up from 4 per cent previously, as it said that investment from the multinational sector is driving growth. (Photograph: Scott Eells/Bloomberg)

Ratings agency says Irish debt reduction is fastest in Europe but says it needs to fall further before it will give upgrade

Irish demand deposit rates have slumped to as low as 0.01 per cent in recent times - and may yet hit zero. (Photograph: Bryan O’Brien / THE IRISH TIMES)

Some savers are earning as little as €1 a year on deposits of €10,000

Best buys: deposit rates

With deposits so unprofitable, how can savers improve yields without too much risk?

US company Ipswitch, which develops monitoring and security software, said on Tuesday that it will create about 60 new jobs over five years at a new support and operations centre in Galway.

Jobs will come on stream over five years in new support centre

The number of credit card accounts plummeted by almost 16 per cent since the second half of 2013, with the amount outstanding on such cards also declining, down by 17 per cent in value. (Photograph: Getty Images)

Money continues to flow into deposits despite plummeting rates; credit card users slump by 16%

KPMG’s near 90-year relationship with ESB is set to come to an end, after the energy group said on Monday that it will replace the professional services group as its auditor. (Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire)

Energy group will open contract to tender in coming months

Applegreen added five services area sites - two sites in the west of Ireland, one in Dublin, one in Kerry as well as a newly built motorway service area in Kilkenny on the M9 - and seven petrol filling stations in the Republic in 2015.

Forecourt retailer reports strong consumer sentiment as it eyes further expansions

Despite the rapid rise in the cost of health insurance, just one in five of those with health insurance say they regularly “shop around” for the best deal, with respondents citing “too much hassle/paper work” and “couldn’t be bothered” as two of the reasons for not doing so.

Consumers see private cover as a ‘necessity’ and despite price hikes just 1 in 5 shop around for the best deals

The KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI consumer sentiment index declined to 105.8 in February from 108.6 in January, reversing a little over half the gains of the previous month that had prompted the strongest reading in 15 years. (Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire)

Index softens in February as consumers report reduced expectations for a recovery in household finances

Irish consumers are switching from cash to card. Last year, the value of debit card payments exceeded the value of ATM withdrawals as consumers opted to pay with a card rather than with cash. Irish consumers made debit card payments worth, on average, € 7,442 in 2015, compared with € 5,388 per head in ATM cash withdrawals. (Photograph: Bryan O’Brien / THE IRISH TIMES)

Irish people now spend more on their debit card than they withdraw in cash from an ATM

Tom Evans with his three children. Photograph: Rory O’Toole Photography

The longer-term impact of taking time out of work must also be considered

Irish savers poured some €370 milllion into state savings products   in 2015 as interest rates on deposit accounts continued to plummet leading savers to seek out better returns.

Tax free offers attract savers as Prize Bond sales rise by 14% to record high of €2.5bn

Seagreen in Greystones, where prices start at €395,000-plus for three- beds rising  to € 535,000-plus for five-beds. A first-time buyer would need a deposit of €57,000 to buy a three-bed at the scheme under the new Central bank rules, while someone trading up would need almost €80,000.

Figures show home buyers needed average deposit of €51,000 for purchase in Dublin last year

Irish 10-year bonds were yielding just 0.92 per cent this morning, at a spread of 71 basis points to German bunds.

Last funding for the NTMA this quarter

10-year shift in global wealth movements. Image: Knight Frank

The latest wealth report says Ireland will have 3,330 multimillionaires by 2025, outpacing growth in France and Spain

Photograph: Thinkstockk

Ireland gained first-mover advantage by introducing the knowledge development box in 2014

US and Europe appear to be on the same track on tax structures

Photograph: Fotolia

The State faces challenges in maintaining its competitiveness as the EU’s intellectual property regime changes under the tax base (...)

Beacon South Quarter, Sandyford, Dublin 18. Ires Reit: average monthly rent is €1,479.

Institutional property investors supplant small-scale buyers and build strong reputation

Dublin enjoyed one of the strongest revpar increases in Europe in 2015, coming in second place behind Madrid, but ahead of Birmingham, Athens and Manchester, on the back of “strong interest from investors, a rise in visitor numbers, and the fact the city has a limited pipeline for new properties”.

City is second only to Madrid for revenue per room growth but it is also one of the most volatile markets survey finds

Investec’s monthly Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), an indicator of the health of the manufacturing industry, gave a reading of 52.9 in February, down from January’s 54, but still indicating that the industry is growing. It is the 33rd consecutive month of growth. (Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times)

Expansion moderates as stronger euro and a more troubled global backdrop hit Irish sector

Before you consider diverting any savings from deposits, it is worth noting the potential consequences of such a move

Paying off debts can make more sense than keeping cash in a savings account

House prices rose across the country by 7.6 per cent in the year to January, figures from the Central Statistics Office revealed on Monday. However, the start of the new year saw prices fall, down by 0.5 per cent nationally in the month of January and by 1.2 per cent in Dublin. (Photograph:  Rui Vieira/PA Wire)

But prices fall during the month with decline most marked in Dublin

Royal Canal Park, Dublin 15, where three- and four-bedroom homes are on sale from € 315,000. Latest figures from the BPFI show that mortgage approvals to first-time buyers slumped by 23 per cent in the year to January 2016.

Mortgage approvals to new entrants reveal 23% slump

Fiona Muldoon, group chief executive with FBD, said it was an “exceptionally difficult year” but the insurer has now stabilised.(Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES)

Insurer reports pre-tax loss of some €84.8m but notes that business stabilised in second half of the year

According to figures from the Irish League of Credit Unions, some €500,000 has been loaned out to 1,017 members under the new microcredit scheme. (Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin)

Members borrow €500,000 in run-up to Christmas at rates of up to 12%

Of the eight parties contesting this Friday’s general election, tax strategies differ considerably. (Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire)

What the parties’ tax strategies will mean for your pocket

How unfair is the tax treatment of entrepreneurs?

Rugby fans heading to Twickenham this weekend will save on transport, accomodation and booze. (Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images)

From a Six Nations weekend in London to second hand cars and shopping trips across the border, a weaker sterling may be a bit of a(...)

Of its development programme, Green Reit said that it is now on site at four locations in Dublin - One Molesworth Street, 32 Molesworth Street, Horizon Logistics Park and Block H in Central Park (pictured) - and expects to commence on site at 4-5 Harcourt Road in mid-2016. (Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES)

Sale of properties driven by policy of keeping gearing within the 25% target that is in line with the ‘better quality’ Reits ope(...)

Figures from Visa Europe show that Irish consumers are also some of the card savvy customers in Europe, with over €1 in every €3 spent in Ireland now transacted with a card, as consumers increasingly move away from cheques and cash to card payments.

Shoppers spent a record €31.7 billion on Visa cards

Dublin is “becoming a hotbed for investment in software and IT” a new report on European FDI has found.(Photograph: Bryan O’Brien / THE IRISH TIMES)

And Galway is Europe’s most business friendly small city, Financial Times publication finds

Stop button: The evidence suggests that many of us are leaving too much money in the hands of Revenue in the form of unclaimed tax credits

By not claiming back all the available tax credits, many of us are letting the taxman keep too much of our money

To benefit from the greatest savings, customers will have to have a loan to value of less than 80 per cent, which means new customers will need a deposit in excess of 20 per cent.

Biggest cuts aimed at homeowners with deposit of more than 20%

Strong growth in medical and pharma exports was the main driver behind goods export growth in 2015. (Photograph: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg)

Trade surplus now the largest on record driven by pharma exports

Irish homeowners continue to pay above the odds for their mortgage borrowings and are being under-compensated for their deposits, new figures from the Central Bank show.

Irish borrowers are still paying a premium on mortgage rates compared with European peers

UK property group Hammerson said  a “better opportunity” for Phase 2 at Dundrum Town Centre would be a mixed-use development. (Photograph : Matt Kavanagh / THE IRISH TIMES)

UK retail developer plans to become ‘Ireland’s leading retail property owner’

Turning a corner: IFSC companies now account for about 38 per cent of all financial services corporation tax revenues. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Provisional figures from Revenue show financial sector paid €1.6bn in tax in 2015

Back in 2006, Irish consumers had a staggering 14 current account providers to choose from but today those options have reduced to six

Lack of competition in the financial services landscape means Irish consumers face higher prices and less choice

Figures show that the average employee of Google in the UK is being paid twice as much as their colleagues across the Irish Sea. (Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire)

Google employees in the UK may be paid double what their Irish colleagues are entitled to, but other tech employers pay their Iri(...)

Ireland’s 10-year government bonds were trading at less than 1 per cent on Monday (0.85%) at a spread of 55 basis points to German bunds, out-performing fellow peripherals Spain and Portugal. (Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg)

NTMA to auction €1 bn in 10-year bonds on February 11th

Election posters outside Government Buildings in Dublin as the 2016 general election campaign gets underway. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

It’s not just Obama and Sanders. Irish politicians, too, are using crowdfunding to raise campaign funds

On the Central Bank’s  agenda this year is a review of the sale of structured investment products, such as capital guaranteed and tracker bonds, to retail consumers. (Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times)

Regulator to conduct review of payments earned on the sale of financial products

Brendan McAtamney (53) joined UDG Healthcare in September 2013 as chief operating officer, having previously held senior management positions with Abbott.

Healthcare services provider reports “strong start” to the year as it forecasts full-year EPS growth of 6-8%

Unless you have deep pockets and expensive health insurance, you may be best to stay away

The Central Bank said that credit union lending continues to fall, dropping from €7 billion in 2008 to just €4 billion in 2015 - a near 15-year low. (Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times)

Central Bank set to soften rule which has raised the ire of the industry

Growth in new orders revealed a sharp and accelerated expansion, extending the current run of positive readings to 31 months. (Photograph: AFP/Getty Images)

Latest PMI figures point to sharp expansion in new orders

A two-bedroom apartment  in Newtown House, Limerick, is for sale for €60,000 with Sherry Fitzgerald.

Dublin remains a ‘seriously unaffordable’ location, housing survey shows

The announcement from Equifax comes a day after the Government announced ambitious plans for 66,000 new jobs for Dublin between now and the end of 2018. (Photograph:Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times)

New centre will bring US technology group’s Irish workforce up to almost 200

Despite a “challenging” UK grocery retail market, Greencore’s UK revenues were up 7.9 per cent, with a good performance in core chilled categories. (Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES)

‘Good start’ to the year for convenience food group with revenues up 7.2 per cent

A single market for financial services could see Irish consumers get a mortgage fixed at 2.7% in France or deposits paying 2% in t(...)

The ECB  has kept its main refinancing rate static at 0.05 per cent since September 2014. Irish deposit rates, however, have slumped in the interim.  Photograph: Arne Dedert/EPA

It is not just retail deposits that have slumped; corporate rates have fallen too

AIB is offering German savers an interest rate that is more than three times that offered to Irish customers

State-owned bank is targeting the German market through an online start-up

Fitch said that  weak asset quality at AIB and BOI is a hurdle in the path to upgrades and is the “key vulnerability” for Irish banks.

Ratings agency says Irish banks still ‘vulnerable to severe shocks’ in commmercial property

No wonder those premiums are so expensive - if you have private health insurance you’re paying a levy of €399 a year to the state.

Recent floods means that consumers could be facing yet another levy - but they’re already drowning in charges

There was balanced growth between imports and exports, Dublin Port said, with imports up 6.5 per cent at 19.5 million gross tonnes, on the back of strengthening of domestic demand. Exports were ahead by 6.4 per cent at 13.3 million gross tonnes.  (Photograph: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg)

Cargo volumes up 6.4% putting the port ahead of where it was in 2007

NYSE trader: allocating to equities will still make sense in 2016. Photograph: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Low interest rates are a high risk in 2016, but despite recent turmoil equities could still be a winner

Grafton Group chief executive Gavin Slark saidthe group anticipates reporting operating profit for 2015 in line with the guidance of about £125.5m - £127.0m.(Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES)

Builders merchanting group reports strong growth in Ireland and is still forecasting full-year profit of £125.5m - £127.0m

Julius Baer, the third-largest Swiss wealth manager, is beefing up its Irish operation as it primes itself for long-term growth in Dublin.  (Photograph: Valentin Flauraud/Bloomberg)

Swiss wealth manager is targeting long-term growth in Ireland as it announces new hires

Parents will get an extra €5 per child in their child benefit payment today, which is paid on the first Tuesday of the month.

If you pay tax, have children, get the state pension or earn the minimum wage you should be in line for a (little) January bonus (...)

Figures for month show significant improvement on December 2014

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