What do you envision your retirement looking like? – Traveling to the sun once or twice a year?; attending a concert, show or play once a month?; enjoying dining out once a week with family or friends?; changing your car every couple of years?; health club membership?; Along with your normal standard of living remaining unchanged.

If would like to see some or all of these in retirement, you need to ensure that you prepare for it in the best way possible.

By putting a little aside today it can help you live the active and productive retirement that you dream of.

A Pension plan provides this vehicle for you. A Pension plan is a long term savings plan that helps you save for your future. However, unlike a regular savings account, the contributions into a pension plan can avail of attractive tax relief & when you retire and look for access to your fund, the benefits can be available in a tax efficient way.

There are a number of important things to consider when deciding your retirement goals:
  • Don’t delay! – any delay in saving for your retirement significantly affects what you’ll live off at retirement. As you can see, a delay of just 10 years can significantly reduce your retirement income.
  • Work out how much you should be savings. Take a look at our Pensions calculator, this will give you an initial indication of how much you should/could be saving.
  • Earn Valuable Tax breaks – the government give valuable support to those who contribute to a pension, in the form of tax relief. The tax relief is based on the rate of income tax you pay, therefore you could have a tax saving of 40% on your pension contribution.
  • Investing in your pension – any contribution you make into a pension will be invested into a fund, with a view to growing your money. The fund or funds we choose will be decided on, once we have reviewed the market after our initial meeting where we have conducted a full financial review which includes your attitude to risk.
  • Making sure your pension changes with you – as your circumstances change you should bear your pension in mind & we will ensure that your retirement planning is flexible so regardless of your employment status, we can help you choose the
    pension that is most appropriate and works for you.
Personal Pensions are flexible pension plans for self employed individuals and those in non-pensionable employment. You can decide how much you wish to contribute and you can stop and restart your pension contributions at any time. Tax relief is allowable on your pension contributions within revenue limits, thereby reducing the income tax you pay. Investment growth is tax free.

Personal Retirement Saving Accounts (PRSAs) are similar to Personal Pensions however they have the added advantage of allowing your employer to also make contributions into your individual pension plan. PRSAs are portable retirement plans so you have the flexibility of taking your pension plan with you if you change employment. Tax relief is allowable on your pension contributions within revenue limits, thereby reducing the income tax you pay. Investment growth is tax free.

Executive/Directors Pensions are designed specifically for company owners and directors. The company can make contributions into your pension plan along with your own individual contributions making Executive Pensions an extremely important and tax efficient way of extracting funds from the company into the director/company owners personal wealth. Investment growth is tax free. There are more options available at retirement in relation to tax free lump sum by using an Executive Pension rather than a Personal Pension as the company director has the option of using a number of different formulae.

Group Pension/Company Pension Schemes are designed for company owners, directors and employees. The company can set up a Group Scheme which allows the employer and the employees to contribute to the pension plan. The Contributions are usually based on a percentage of salary, with tax relief allowed on both the employer and employee pension contributions within revenue limits. Contributions are deducted straight from your salary which allows the tax relief to be given at source. Investment growth is tax free.

Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) are extra contributions that you can make alongside your existing pension plan to increase your pension fund further. AVCs are ideal for those who wish to catch up on their pension funding, maybe if they started their pension late; took a break from pension funding or are nearing retirement and they want to boost their pension fund. Tax relief is also allowed on AVC contributions, within revenue limits. Investment growth is tax free.

Leaving Service Options/Buy Out Bonds/Retirement Bonds: are a stand alone pension contracts or bonds which allow you to transfer your accumulated pension fund from a company pension arrangement into a pension bond in your own name.

Many people throughout their working life change employment either by choice or through redundancy.
Once you leave your employment you will be issued with ‘leaving service options’ in relation to the pension fund you have built up in the company pension scheme, included in these is the option to transfer to a new Retirement Bond or Buy Out bond.

There are a number of advantages of having your accumulated pension fund transferred into a pension plan in your own name, such as:

  • You can choose which provider you place your pension fund with have access to the most competitive contracts.
  • You now have total control of the timing of accessing benefits of your pension, in accordance with pension rules (you could possibly access your pension benefits from age 50 onwards & you do not have to retire from a subsequent employment!)
  • All communication on your pension now go directly to you.
  • You are in control of the investment and the investment choices.
  • Your pension is no longer under your previous employers pension plan therefore trustee signature/permission are no longer required for any dealings with the fund
  • The need for you to ‘stay in touch’ with your previous employer is removed.
  • The full fund value of your pension is payable to your estate on death after it has been transferred to a retirement bond.
  • If you were to leave your pension plan under your existing pension arrangement, after you have left employment, you may experience difficulties accessing pension benefits as the trustees of the previous pension plan may cease to exist.
  • You have the option of transferring your retirement bond to a new retirement bond (with another provider) or to a new pension structure in the future, if at that particular time if makes more financial sense to do so thereby giving you more flexibility with your pension fund.

If you have left employment or are currently in the process of doing so it is imperative that you receive independent financial advice, in order to make the best decision which is specific to your needs.

Professional Advice You Can Rely On

Contact us for advice on which pension plan best suit your needs.