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Client Case Study
Name | Miriam
Age | 36
Miriam has been self-employed for the past 7 years and approached us at the beginning of 2021 to assess her pension options.
A pension was something Miriam always intended on starting but life and business got in the way. After taking a holistic view of her situation, Miriam and her advisor decided to put a full financial plan in place.
A PRSA pension with monthly contributions was first up. An attractive option with tax relief on contributions as well as tax-free growth.
However, Miriam is also the main earner in her household which caused some concern due to the lack of protection in place.
Miriam did have access to an emergency fund of 3 months’ savings but nothing more substantial. Due to her circumstances, it was decided an income protection policy that covered 75% of her salary would be put in place.
This allowed Miriam to plan for her retirement through her PRSA whilst also protecting her income and her family.
Client Case Study
Name | Michael
Age | 41
Michael is self-employed and contacted us regarding a pension. Being self-employed, Michael had the option of either a Personal Retirement Savings Account (PRSA) or a Personal Pension.
After discussing his situation with an advisor, both Michael and the advisor decided the PRSA option would be best suited to him. The flexibility that comes with a PRSA was ideal for his situation.
Michael wanted to contribute regularly but also hoped to contribute a lump-sum if possible towards the end of the year.
Michael may also be eligible to access 25% of his PRSA tax-free from age 60.
An Introduction to Self Employed Pensions
As a company director, you are putting your blood, sweat, and tears into making your company successful.
Therefore, it can be difficult to juggle everything while also planning for retirement.
According to the Central Statistics Office, only 6 in 10 of the Irish workforce have some sort of private pension.
This includes the self-employed and company directors. As a result, we can assume the remaining 40% of the population plan to live on the €248 a week State pension.
Will this be enough to fund the lifestyle you would like in retirement?
A pension is a tax-efficient way of saving for the future.
Table of Contents
Why start a pension?
If the thought of potentially living off €248 per week alone is not enough to push you towards starting a pension, let us look at some of the benefits.
We are living longer, healthier lives. Therefore, if you want to enjoy your retirement, you will need a larger sum of money.
The government does not want everyone to depend on living solely off the State pension. Some of the benefits of contributing to a pension are:
- Tax relief – When contributing to your pension you will receive tax relief relevant to your tax bracket. Let us say you pay 40% income tax. Therefore, for each €1 you contribute, you will receive 40 cents back.
- Tax-free growth – The money you contribute to your pension will grow free of tax.
- Tax-free cash – When you retire, currently you can withdraw 25% (up to a max of €200,000) of your fund completely free of tax.
These are just some of the benefits associated with having a pension. It will help give you peace of mind knowing you are planning for your future.
As a self-employed person, you have three potential options regarding a pension.
Each has certain features and benefits. Below we will go through your options in detail regarding self employed pensions so you can understand what may be best for your situation.
A Personal pension is a privately owned pension plan which will be held in your name. It will differ from company pension plans where an employer can also contribute.
This plan is a popular choice among the self-employed. However, as per scheme rules, there are maximum limits on contributions.
You will be eligible to make contributions and receive relief at your marginal rate of either 20 or 40%. The amount you can contribute is related to your age.
We have broken down the contributions below:
|Age||Max Contribution Allowable|
|29 or younger||15% of net relevant earnings|
|30-39 years of age||20%|
|40-49 years of age||25%|
|50-54 years of age||30%|
|55-59 years of age||35%|
|60+ years of age||40%|
These percentages are to a maximum of €115,000 per year.
What is a Personal Retirement Savings Account – PRSA
A PRSA is a long-term personal pension arrangement. As per the table above, a PRSA will enable you to receive tax relief on contributions to a certain limit.
PRSA’s are an attractive pension arrangement option due to their flexibility. First introduced to Ireland under the Pensions (Amendment) Act, 2002.
You can contribute to your PRSA arrangement either through a lump-sum or through regular monthly contributions.
Within PRSAs they can be broken down into two categories, a standard PRSA and a non-standard PRSA. The main difference between the two products comes down to charges and investment options.
Below we will look at both in more detail.
Non-standard vs Standard PRSA
Standard PRSA – The main differentiating factor between the two charges. In a standard PRSA, you cannot be charged for than 5% on your contributions. There is also a maximum annual management charge (AMC) of 1%.
Non-Standard PRSA – This differs mainly in two aspects. There is essentially no limit regarding charges. However, you can access a wide range of asset classes and fund choices.
At what age can I draw down my pension?
As we know, the age from which you can access your pension will differ from scheme to scheme. Below we breakdown down the scheme and what age you can access your funds.
PRSA – From age 60. However, this may be reduced if you are an employee who is leaving service.
Personal Pension – This arrangement can be accessed from age 60 if you are ceasing employment.
If you would like to assess your options regarding any of the above schemes, book your complimentary consultation.
Speak to a pension transfer expert
Our advisors work alongside Irelands leading life insurance companies. Ensuring you get access to funds that suit you best.
With the right advisor by your side, you can enjoy the retirement lifestyle you deserve.
Self Employed pensions can be a difficult area to navigate. If you are considering starting your pension it is important you seek professional advice before making any decisions.