The last months of the year are particularly intense for financial institutions, especially when it comes to attracting new customers to their main products. The star example is undoubtedly pension plans, where traditional fund managers are using various techniques to encourage new customers to sign up, even offering a gift for your pension plan if you transfer your capital to their institution.
However, these bonuses are often a poisoned gift.
The fine print of pension plan gifts
Entities obtain up to 80% of the contributions to pension plans in the last months of the year. One of the main attractions of these products are the gifts and bonuses offered for transferring the plan to your institution. Many savers invest in them without taking into account the small print, which, however, can make a significant difference.
Taxation of gifts and allowances
Both the gifts and the bonuses offered by financial institutions are subject to personal income tax. The Tax Agency reminds us that the amount of the gift received by a bank customer “is considered for tax purposes as income from movable capital, subject to taxation and to payment on account of 15%”.
As for the bonuses, as it is a kind of interest paid in cash to the new customer, it will be taxed like other income from movable capital. Consequently, you will have to pay the taxes corresponding to the savings tax base.
Normally, institutions that offer bonuses and gifts have in return requirements of permanence that can be more or less burdensome.
In many cases, institutions require the money to be kept in the pension plan for at least 12 to 24 months. During this period, the savings cannot be transferred to another pension plan and, if they are transferred, a penalty will be applied that will completely cancel out the value of the gift.
Maximum limits on gifts
Institutions apply a bonus of up to 10% for transferring the pension plan. However, these bonuses are often misleading, as they set a maximum limit on the amount of money that can be credited.
For example, if an institution applies a 10% bonus for the entire plan to be transferred, but at the same time sets a maximum limit of €500, a saver who transfers €10,000 will only receive €500, and not the €1,000 he/she would have to pay in principle.
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