Personal Pension – FAQ’s
Find the answers to Personal Pension Plan most frequently asked questions. Learn about everything from tax breaks to plan types and what your options are if moving jobs, retiring early or come normal retirement age. As pension planning experts, we are here to answer all your questions and assist you in finding your best value pension solution!
Personal Pension Plan – Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I have a Personal Pension?
A personal pension plan represents the most cost-effective pension solution for the long-term self-employed.
Will I still get the State Pension in addition?
Yes, all private pension holders are still entitled to the State pension in addition. The current State Social Welfare Pension is only: €248.30 per week. The contributory pension starts at age 66 and the non-contributory not until age 67. Personal pension plan benefits can be taken from age 60 onwards and will not reduce your State pension benefits.
What are the tax breaks under a personal pension?
A personal pension plan provides full tax relief on contributions, as well as tax-free fund growth and a tax-free lump payment option come retirement.
How much can I contribute to my personal pension?
AGE – MAXIMUM PENSION CONTRIBUTION AS % OF NET RELEVANT EARNINGS
Up to 29 years 15%
30 to 39 years 20%
40 to 49 years 25%
50 to 54 years 30%
55 to 59 years 35%
60 and over 40%
How are contibutions paid?
You make regular monthly contributions via direct debit from your personal bank account. You can also make ad-hoc lump sum payments at the end of each via online transfer to reduce your previous year’s balancing tax bill.
What are the different types of executive pension plans?
Insured Plans – the most popular type of personal pension is an insured plan provided through an insurance company. It allows investment in a choice of pooled funds also called unit-linked or mutual funds and offers the cheapest way of investing in assets which can include equities, bonds, property, commodities, and deposits.
Self-directed Plans – these plans offer a hybrid of insured fund options as well as access to your own choice of specific equities, ETF’s and Structured products, they tend to be more expensive than insured executive pensions.
How do I ensure best advice and value for money?
We compare charges and investment performance of all leading insured and self-directed pension providers. We ensure that the recommended pension plan option, matches your appetite for investment risk and that any charges are fully transparent and kept to a minimum. We also offer you full online access to your pension plan from inception, with regular investment performance reviews.
What happens my pension fund if I were to die?
In the event of death before retirement, 4 times your annual remuneration at the date of death can be paid to your dependents, together with a refund of all contributions to the plan. The balance must generally be used to purchase an income for life for your spouse or any one or all of your dependants.
Post-retirement where you have already invested in an ARF, on your death the ARF can be transferred into your spouse’s name free of PAYE or Capital Gains Tax.
Can I cash in my pension early, if needs must?
You can now retire from age 60 and take 25% of your fund tax-free, under a personal pension plan.
If you have to stop working due to serious ill-health, you can take your pension benefits earlier than these stated ages!
Once you have taken your 25% tax-free, you can choose to reinvest the balance in an ARF (investing in funds for tax-free growth as before) and make regular and ad hoc withdrawals to provide an income.