Pensions & Retirement

How are you planning to fund your retirement years?

We may spend up to one quarter of our lives in retirement so it is important that we have the means to fund our retirement years.

Did you know that the current State pension (contributory) is only €230.30* per week or €11,976 per year?

A recent survey reported that 80% of the Irish population consider that the State pension will not be enough to meet their needs in retirement (Pensions Board consumer research survey, 2010).

Barry Walsh Financial Services can provide a full range of retirement plans covering everything from large group schemes to individual personal pension plans and PRSAs. Our pension plans are designed to meet your changing needs, providing a wide range of features and options.

Tax-efficient saving for your future

A pension is an extremely tax-efficient way of saving money for your retirement. Whatever type of pension you have, you are entitled to three generous tax breaks**:

Tax relief on money paid into your pension

Contributions paid into a pension plan benefit from tax relief at your highest rate of tax, subject to certain limits. If you are a PAYE employee your contributions will also be relieved from PRSI and the health levy.

Tax-free growth on your money

Any growth in contributions invested through your pension fund is exempt from Irish income tax and capital gains tax.

Tax-free lump sum when you retire

With many pension plans, you can take part of your fund as a tax-free lump sum when you retire.

Types of Pensions

Personal Pension Plan

Personal Pensions are a type of private pension that are managed for you by a life insurance or investment company. If you are earning an income but are unable or not entitled to join a Group Pension plan, or if you are self-employed, then you can start either a Personal Pension or a PRSA.

Personal Pensions give you the freedom to decide how much you want to contribute, and where your contributions are invested. However, bear in mind that the older you are when you start, then the more money you will need to contribute to reach your target.

Personal Pensions come with very attractive retirement and tax benefits:

  • You enjoy tax relief on the contributions you make
  • The growth of your investment is tax free
  • You can take a tax-free lump sum upon retirement
Executive Pension Plan

An Executive Pension is a pension plan that is specially designed for Company Directors and Owners, typically those with at least a 5% shareholding in the company. Executive Pensions are set up by the company who then usually make contributions to the plan.

Executive Pensions offer a full range of very attractive retirement benefits and tax reliefs:

  • Any contributions made by the company can be fully offset against corporation tax and do not attract personal income tax as a Benefit-in-Kind.
  • Any contributions you make to an Executive Pension are subject to tax relief at your marginal rate, up to a generous maximum limit.

A company can also offer a full Group Pension to other employees, subject to different retirement and tax benefits.

Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSAs)

Personal Retirement Savings Accounts or PRSAs are another type of private pension that are managed for you by a life insurance or investment company. If you are earning an income but are unable or not entitled to join a Group Pension plan, or if you are self-employed, then you can start either a PRSA or a Personal Pension. PRSAs give you the freedom to decide how much you want to contribute, and where your contributions are invested. However, bear in mind that the older you are when you start, then the more money you will need to contribute to reach your target.

PRSAs come with very attractive retirement and tax benefits:

  • You enjoy tax relief on the contributions you make
  • The growth of your investment is tax free
  • You can take a tax-free lump sum upon retirement.

Subject to conditions, a PRSA can also be used alongside a company pension to make Additional Voluntary Contributions.

Pension Transfer Bond

When people move from job to job many of them leave their pension behind them in their old company’s pension scheme.

Keeping track of different company pension schemes can be hard, and you might have very little say in how a scheme is managed once you have moved to new employment.

A Pension Transfer Bond (or Buy Out Bond) is a personal pension bond into which you can place the pension fund you built up with former employers. The advantages of moving your fund to a Pension Transfer Bond is that you can keep a closer eye on how it is doing and also decide for yourself where and how it is invested.

Group Pensions

A Group Pension or Occupational Pension Scheme is a savings account designed to accept contributions from both you and your employer. These contributions then grow into a lump sum (pension fund) that will provide you with pension benefits when you retire.

All employers are legally obliged to provide employees with access to some form of pension provision. A Group Pension is an efficient way of doing this, providing excellent benefits to both employer and employee alike.

A Group Pension will normally offer the following key benefits:

  • A Defined Contribution Pension Scheme where employer and employee agree on the amount that is put into the scheme
  • Allows Additional Voluntary Contributions as well as transfers from other schemes
  • Provides a Tailored Default Investment Strategy for your scheme
  • Offers a Lifestyle Strategy approaching retirement
  • Members have direct online access to up-to-date policy information

Your Post-Retirement Options

These days, the average person retiring at age 65 can expect to live for at least another 20 years or more. Making the most of these retirement years involves careful financial planning. The first part of this is choosing the right pension plan. The second part is choosing the right post-retirement options for your needs.

These are your post-retirement options:

Approved Retirement Funds (ARF)

An ARF allows you to invest some or all of your maturing retirement fund into one or more of our funds. With an ARF you get to invest in funds which fit your investor profile and you get access to your capital.

Approved Minimum Retirement Fund (AMRF)

An AMRF is similar to an ARF but has some compulsory requirements that are intended to safeguard a portion of your retirement fund. These requirements are removed on your 75th birthday when your AMRF automatically becomes an ARF.

Approved Retirement Fund with lifelong income benefit

How can you convert your hard-earned retirement savings into an income that will last your lifetime? Do you choose to purchase a secure income but give up control of and access to your retirement funds or do you keep control of your funds without the security of a guaranteed income?

Now, for the first time in Ireland, an Approved Retirement Fund (ARF) is available which allows you to keep control over your investment by providing access to your retirement fund while at the same time allowing you to enjoy the security of a guaranteed income for life.

By providing both security and flexibility, the Canada Life Approved Retirement Fund with lifelong income benefit provides a creative and innovative new retirement option, offering you:

  • A secure, predictable, guaranteed income for life in retirement;
  • Access to your retirement fund when you need it;
  • A choice of investment options;
  • The potential for your income to be increased through income ‘lock-ins’;
  • A minimum payment on death.

You should note that if you do make a discretionary withdrawal, your guaranteed income will reduce.
The minimum payment on death is equal to the higher of the current fund value and the premium paid less all withdrawals made (including any surrender penalties, administration charges and tax).

Enquire Today

Waterford Pension Helpline - (051) 57 47 76

waterford pension helpline

Are you over 50 years of age and an Ex-Employee of any company where you paid into a pension?
Access your pension NOW! – Learn more by ringing the Pension Helpline. A pension helpline has been set up free of charge by Barry Walsh Financial Services 13 Parnell Street Waterford for the Waterford Area and its hinterland.
The first consultation is COMPLETELY FREE WITH NO OBLIGATION.
Barry Walsh T/A Barry Walsh Financial Services is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland