No one starts out knowing exactly what they’ll need for their retirement years. With so many different plans and options available we all need some help making the decision that’s right for us.

Thankfully, you’re not alone. there’s plenty of help available to get reliable and trustworthy advice on your pension options.

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Personal Pension

Is a personally owned pension, held in your name and is suitable for anyone saving for their retirement. It is mainly suited to those who are self-employed, or whose employer does not offer a pension scheme. One of the most common questions people ask is, how much should I contribute? While there’s no minimum amount as such, the maximum amount you can contribute depends on your age.

Age Percentage limit

Under 30   – 15 %
30-39         – 20 %
40-49         – 25 %
50-54         – 30 %
55-59         – 35 %
60 or over  – 40 %

On retirement you can take a tax-free lump sum of 25% of your fund, up to a maximum of €200,000.

The remainder of your fund can then be invested in an Annuity or Retirement Fund, which will be used to pay you an income in retirement. The information contained herein is based on our understanding of current Revenue practice as at July 2021 and may change in the future.


Transferring UK Pensions

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS)

QROPS is a Personal Retirement Bond approved by HMRC. (UK Authorities)

QROPS Personal Retirement Bond can accept transfers from UK Occupational Pension Schemes (DB or DC), UK Personal pensions and UK Section 32 Buy Out Bonds.

There are several criteria that need to be considered as part of this process. Transfers may seem daunting and complicated but once the necessary steps to avoid any negative tax consequences are taken, the process is quite simple. It is essentially the transfer of benefits from one insurer to another.


AVCs (Additional Voluntary Contributions)

Additional payments to an existing pension scheme, to build up additional retirement funds. AVCs give you the opportunity to grow your pension ahead of retirement, on your own terms. AVC’s are tax efficient as you can claim tax relief against contributions, subject to revenue limits.

See blog post on AVCs for further details on how to maximise additional retirement funds.


Executive Pension / Directors Pension Trust

Is designed to help company directors and employees save for their retirement. Both employers and employees can avail of tax relief on their contributions. Some of its best features are

  • its flexibility, you can make regular or one-off contributions, at any stage. The employee’s contributions are restricted to the same age-related max contribution scale as the Personal pensions. The permitted employers pension payments are far more generous, this is of particular advantage to Company Directors.
  • It is one of the most tax efficient ways to transfer company profits into personal assets

Buy out Bond (BOB) / Personal Retirement Bond

A retirement bond allows you to take your pension entitlements with you when changing jobs and/or if you are made redundant, without having to transfer to your new employer’s scheme.

A Buy out Bond allows you to bring your pension benefits with you, when you leave a pension scheme.


  • It’s flexible – You have control over your pension plan and how it is invested.
  • It’s tax-efficient – That’s because any growth on your investment is tax-free.
  • It helps cut ties with your previous employer and/or their Trustees.
  • It allows you to retire the benefits from that previous employment after age 50.
  • It lends itself to a smoother retirement of the benefits of that employment
  • If you were to die before taking your retirement benefits, the fund forms part of your estate with no involvement from your past Employer or Trustees.

PRSA (Personal Retirement Savings Account)

Is a personally owned pension that lets you save for retirement. It’s a simple flexible pension which you can take out, regardless of your employment status. You are eligible for a PRSA if you’re self-employed or working in non-pensionable employment. The maximum amount you can contribute depends on your age the same as a personal pension noted above. One of it’s best features is its portability, if you move jobs, or even take a career break, you can take your PRSA with you.

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