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    Pensions are an extremely efficient way of saving.


    Pensions are an extremely efficient way of saving

    You get tax relief on your savings at the marginal rate; funds accumulate tax free until retirement and you can get a percentage of your fund tax free at retirement and the balance can be used to buy an annuity or AMRF/ARF.

    Personal Pension

    A Personal Pension is a personally owned pension, held in your name. If you are self-employed, or if your employer does not offer a company paid pension plan. It’s never too early or too late to start saving for your retirement.

    The earlier you start, the more you should have saved for your retirement. And with plenty of options, you can choose a pension that suits the different stages in your life. How much should I contribute? It’s one of the most common questions people ask. There is no minimum amount; the maximum amount you can contribute depends on your age.

    On retirement you can take a tax-free lump sum of 25% of your fund, up to a maximum of €200,000 (as at July 2015). The remainder of your fund can then be used to buy an Annuity or invest in Approved Retirement Funds.



    Personal Retirement Savings Account (PRSA)

    A PRSA is a personally owned pension that lets you save for retirement on your own terms. You can contribute to it whenever you want and stop making contributions at any time. A PRSA is for everyone, regardless of employment status.

    You can take out a PRSA if you’re self-employed, or working for a company You can claim income tax relief on contributions to a PRSA, up to certain limits. And if your retirement fund grows, the growth is also tax-free.

    On retirement, you can take a tax-free lump sum of 25% of your fund, up to a maximum of €200,000 (as at July 2015).
    The remainder of your fund can then be invested in an Annuity or Approved (Minimum) Retirement Fund A(M)RF. If you have taken out a PRSA to make Additional Voluntary Contributions , you must take your benefits from your PRSA in the same way as you take the benefits from the main scheme.

    Company/Executive Pensions

    Company or Executive Pension are designed to help employees, company owners or company directors save for their retirement. Tax relief is available on contributions.

    Company paid or executive pension allows your employer to make contributions towards your pension on your behalf with no BIK on contributions.

    You do not have to be an executive to take out a Company/Executive Pension Plan.

    The plan is designed for employees and employers in all type of companies from small to large companies that want to save for their retirement.

    The maximum that can be paid into an executive pension plan, between the employee and employer, depends on the employee’s earnings, service, and any benefits from a previous employment. The maximum amount the employee can pay in depends on their age.

    Buy Out Bonds/PRB’s

    Personal Retirement Bond (PRB) is a personal policy that is set up by trustees of a pension scheme to provide retirement benefits for a former member of that pension scheme. It means that if you leave a pension scheme, you can bring your pension benefits with you by having the value of your fund invested in a bond.

    If you’re planning to leave the company you currently work for, and you’re part of the group pension plan, a PRB could be a great option for you. A PRB will also be suitable if you decide to leave a company pension scheme for any other reason, or if the scheme is winding down.

    Subject to revenue rules at the time, you may decide to receive part as a lump sum. The remainder of your fund can then be invested in an Annuity or Approved (Minimum) Retirement Fund A(M)RF.

    Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC’s)

    AVCs are extra contributions you can make in addition to your existing company pension. AVCs are more suitable for members of company pension schemes, who want to increase their retirement fund to allow them to draw a higher Tax Free lump sum and pension.

    You can claim tax relief against your AVC payments subject to revenue limits, and your investment growth won’t be taxed. When you retire, your AVC contributions need to be taken in the same way as the benefits from your company pension scheme or main scheme. You can make contributions to your AVC through your employer, or by yourself.

    Making contributions through your employer is usually the most straightforward, since each contribution can be taken from your salary. If you make personal additional contributions you will have to claim tax back from Revenue.

    Approved Minimum Retirement Funds (AMRF/ARF)

    The ARF allows you to invest all or part of your pension fund after you retire in a wide choice of investments. You can decide on the type of fund you would like to invest in, and the amount of risk you’re comfortable with.

    You can withdraw money from an ARF but all withdraws are subject to income tax and USC. PRSI may also apply. The value of your ARF may go down as well as up and this will depend on the level of risk chosen. To set up an ARF you must first have a guaranteed pension income of at least €12,700 per annum or have invested €63,500 in an Approved Minimum Retirement Fund (AMRF) and/or Annuity.

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