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When can I retire?

When you can access your retirement benefits will depend on the specific plan you have. If you established a pension plan while self-employed or while working for an employer that did not make contributions to your pension, you possess a Personal Pension. If you were employed by a company and enrolled in a pension scheme with contributions from your employer, you hold a Company Pension. This can come in the form of a Defined Contribution (DC) pension, a Defined Benefit (DB) pension, or an Executive Pension Plan. If you opt to top up your company pension by making extra voluntary contributions, you possess an Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVC) pension.

Alternatively, you might have a Personal Retirement Savings Account (PRSA). This pension plan is open to individuals in various categories, including employees, self-employed individuals, homemakers, the unemployed, and others. If you left an employer and moved your pension fund to an independent pension account, you hold a Retirement Bond.

Personal Pension

You might have the option to access funds from your personal pension under the following conditions:

Company Pension

You might have the option to access funds from your company pension under the following conditions:

PRSAs - Personal Retirement Savings Accounts

You might have the option to access funds from your PRSA pension under the following conditions:

Retirement Bonds

You might have the option to access funds from your retirement bond under the following conditions:

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What options do I have when I retire? 

You will have various options when you retire, and, subject to specific guidelines from Revenue, you can potentially combine these options. The range of choices accessible to you upon retirement is contingent upon the type of pension you hold. There are four main options available to you:

  1. Take a tax-free retirement lump sum (subject to a lifetime limit of €200,000)
  2. Take a taxed retirement lump sum
  3. Invest in an Approved Retirement Fund (ARF)
  4. Buy an Annuity

The ultimate Retirement Planning Guide.​

Planning for retirement is a significant life milestone. Whether you’re just starting to think about retirement or are already well into your retirement journey, this guide aims to empower you to make informed decisions and create a retirement plan that aligns with your unique financial goals and expectations.

After you download your guide, one of our expert mortgage advisors will be in touch shortly to provide you with guidance and further relevant information.


Boost your contributions with the Employer Benefit. 

If your employer offers a pension plan with matching contributions, take full advantage of it. Employer contributions can significantly boost your retirement savings. For example, let’s take the scenario where you are an employee and have a company pension plan. The crucial point to note is that thanks to tax relief, your effective cost is only €130. This means you’re able to contribute more to your pension pot while paying less, all thanks to the tax relief benefit. You’re getting €304 more into your pension pot, it’s literally free money!


Optimise your retirement funds and protect your future. Book your appointment and start now!

Most frequent questions (FAQs)

What is Annuity?

Once you’ve received your tax-free lump sum upon retirement, you might have the option to select either an Annuity or an Approved Retirement Fund (ARF)An annuity is structured to offer a consistent and assured income stream for your lifetime. It’s crucial to select an annuity that aligns with your own and your spouse’s retirement needs. 

Learn more about the differences between an ARF and an Annuity by reading our article:

Pension annuities: retirement income for your whole life?

An Approved Retirement Fund (ARF) provides retirees in Ireland with increased control over their pension funds. ARFs allow you to remain invested in the financial market, giving you flexibility in managing your investments and enabling you to take a variable income during retirement. You, as a retiree, can decide the portion of your pension fund to invest and select your desired risk level with an ARF. You should be aware that the value of the fund can vary due to market conditions, even though you have the option to make periodic or as-needed withdrawals from it.

Learn more about the differences between an ARF and an Annuity by reading our article:

What is an Approved Retirement Fund (ARF)?

This is the phase where you access your private retirement benefits make use of the funds and then pass away. Regarding the distribution of your pension upon retirement:

  • You receive a tax-free lump sum amounting to 25% of your pension fund.
  • This lump sum can be inherited as a component of your estate.
  • The inheritance may be subject to inheritance tax, which depends on the individual(s) inheriting your estate.

Retirement Lump Sum

When you pass away, this money becomes part of your estate. Different levels of taxes will apply depending on who inherits the money.


You have the option to determine what will happen with your pension upon your passing. For instance, it can stop immediately, or it can continue to be paid, at a reduced rate, to your widow/widower or partner. It can provide a guaranteed level of pension income for your spouse or civil partner for up to 10 years. For example, if you buy an annuity with a 10-year guaranteed period, and you pass away one year after retiring, your family will receive your income for the remaining 9 years.

Approved Retirement Fund

The worth of your ARF is transferred to your estate when you die. The applicable tax levels vary depending on who inherits the money.

Learn more about Annuities and ARFs by reading our article:

Guide to Post-Retirement Planning.

Business Owners

Employees (PAYE)

If you still have any questions, please make an enquiry, or freephone us, and we will be happy to assist you.

Freephone (1800) 808-808

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Unlock your full retirement potential and reach your financial milestones with a tax-efficient pension review guided by our experienced and qualified Financial Advisors. Schedule your consultation today with our award-winning team and set the course for a well-planned financial future enriched by expert Financial Advice.

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