538,000 SSIA savers will finally get access to their funds. But how will they spend it?

The Special Saving Incentive Account (SSIA) was a special high interest savings account that were open to savers in Ireland between May 2001 and April 2002. Under the scheme, the government provided a top-up of €1 in every €4 saved with a maximum monthly contribution of €254. The scheme ran for five years and in 2007 it was time for savers to cash in.

It's all razzmatazz at our banks and financial institutions these days.

Ahead of the release of funds, the Pat Malone of the Revenue Commissioners urged people to fill out their SSIA declaration forms in order to make sure that they would not be liable for 23% tax. 

The SSIA saving scheme involved 1.1 million savers with the government contributing €3 billion to the savings accounts over the past five years. The average saver was due to receive £14,000. 

Ronan Headon, Head of Savings at Bank of Ireland, said that over 60% of customers continue to save money, with the average monthly savings now over €300. 

It's not every day that more than half a million people will amass an average of €14,000 in a lump sum to play around with. But they've been five hard years getting to this stage.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 27 April 2007. The reporter is George Lee.