What will happen to pension plans linked to mortgages

Many banks lower the price of mortgages for hiring a Pension plan, which in addition to saving for retirement allows you to pay less taxes. But its fiscal attractiveness has suffered a severe setback and it is foreseeable that clients will increasingly channel savings towards other investments. At the moment, the bank does not renounce them as an option to discount the mortgage interest, although it is open to adjustments to adapt to the changes that lie ahead.

In 2020, 8,000 euros could be contributed to the individual pension plan and that amount was deducted from the tax base of the Personal income tax. In 2021 the maximum limit with the right to deduction is 2,000 euros, but next year it will be only 1,500 euros, according to the General State Budgets for 2022. If finally approved, it would be the second time in two years that the Government penalizes the taxation of individual plans, in order to promote business plans.

According to Inverco, deposits are already falling this year by 22%, with 1,578 million euros from January to September compared to 2,028 million in the same period of 2020. And, given that the bulk of contributions are usually made at the end of the year , estimates an annual decrease of 32%.

The limit with the right to deduction in personal income tax drops to 1,500 euros in 2022

In general, the banks consulted believe that it is too early to detail what will happen to the offer of pension plans linked to mortgages. The sector defends that as long as there is still a tax advantage – with a deduction that will remain at 1,500 euros – the product remains attractive. However, you recognize that you will lose weight as a vehicle for saving for individuals and that their hiring may be resentful, which may affect their commercial fit. “It is a less interesting option now, but we do not believe that it will disappear overnight,” says Simone Colombelli, from iAhorro.

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Experts believe that banks could from now on incentivize other investment instruments that generate more business margin and fee income, such as funds and portfolio management. Josep García, from Mejorbanco.com, also sees it possible that an attempt will be made to increase ties through insurance (home, life, car or health) to have access to better mortgage conditions.

For now, Banco Santander and Unicaja Banco keep their bonuses intact. They insist that they do not oblige the contracting of additional products, but the client can achieve interest reductions by contributing to pension plans or investment funds. Nor does Deutsche Bank change anything, which, like Bankinter, requires to contribute only 600 euros.

Kutxabank will continue with its offer of pension plans, which will complement that of investment funds, which will also make new mortgages cheaper. Currently, it lowers the interest on the mortgage loan by 0.1% if the contribution is a minimum of 2,000 euros per year. This figure exceeds by 500 euros what the taxpayer can deduct from 2022, before which the contribution will have to be adjusted.

The most common bonus offered by banks is 0.1% on interest

Cajamar, which offers one of the highest bonuses in the market, 0.2% for a minimum contribution of 1,000 euros per year, does not rule out changes in its commercial strategy. “It will very possibly be necessary to review the current bonus scheme for our mortgage offer.” The entity foresees that “a relevant part of the contributions” will end up being channeled to investment funds or even to the real estate sector.

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On the other hand, although entities such as BBVA and MyInvestor no longer use pension plans as a claim on mortgages, they did for some time. Likewise, they were associated products in the former Bankia and Liberbank. Thus, many of its outstanding mortgages require periodic contributions to avoid increases in interest. In HelpMyCash.com they explain that the minimum necessary contributions are not usually very high, “so in many cases it will continue to be a valid mechanism”.

Everyone agrees that the decision to opt for a pension plan will depend on the client’s profile. There will be those who continue to make contributions and who, in response to tax changes, diversify by resorting to other products.

Transfer campaigns underway

Promotions. Financial sources argue that, rather than subsidizing mortgages for contributions to pension plans, banks should focus on offers for transfers. These promotions are a classic in the final stretch of the year, and some campaigns are already underway and with conditions similar to those of other years despite the latest fiscal changes announced by the Government. BBVA offers 4% of the transferred amount for amounts greater than 25,000 euros and with a permanence of at least six years. Bankinter gives up to a 5% discount in the event of transfers equal to or greater than 60,000 euros and if the client registers a monthly contribution of at least 100 euros per month. Ibercaja also offers 5% for transfers of more than 30,000 euros. For its part, Banco Santander pays up to 8% for more than 100,000 euros and with a tenure of eight years.

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Advertising. It is advisable to read the fine print. The highest bonuses are only made on relatively large amounts and require a long period of stay. For transfers between 8,000 euros and 15,000 euros, around 1% or 2% discount is offered.

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