Savers put away €1.8bn in SSIA accounts

People are squirreling away €1.8bn in over 150,000 SSIA accounts in Credit Unions, it emerged today.

A survey among 4,400 members revealed almost a third of credit union SSIA holders have Government savings schemes worth more than €17,500 - with 42% of them worth over €15,000.

“While the Government is adding 25% to these savings, credit union SSIA share accounts will also have benefited from a dividend of between 1-3% per annum - with our Deposit Accounts adding between 1% and 4% interest per annum depending on the individual credit union’s performance,” Liam O’Dwyer, chief executive of the ILCU, said.

The research from the credit union shows the vast majority of the league’s SSIAs would mature between February and April 2007 – with 55% in March and April alone.

The survey showed the SSIAs will be worth €1.8bn at maturity. Around 15% of the savers are planning to increase their SSIA contributions before the scheme ends.

Almost half of account holders surveyed said they would continue to save, 32% are planning to splash out with home improvements, cars and holidays at the top of list. The survey showed around one in 10, at 13%, will replay loans including mortgages and credit card debt when their account matures.

Around 29% said they would put their savings towards their pensions. Mr O’Dwyer said credit unions were awaiting with interest Government initiatives to encourage longer term savings and simplified pension products.

One in five, mainly aged between 18 and 24, said they would buy a car.

Around 57% of the accounts are held by females – but men aged 55-plus were the most common holders of the higher-value SSIA accounts.

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