Approved Retirement Fund (ARF/AMRF)
An Approved Retirement Fund (ARF) is a post retirement contract. On retirement from a pension contract and after taking your retirement lump sum, the balance of your pension fund can be invested in an ARF (this is subject to first having satisfied a specified income requirement of being in receipt of a guaranteed minimum pension income for life of at least €12,700 per annum or having invested the first €63,500 into your Approved Minimum Retirement Fund (AMRF).
You decide where you want to invest and you can withdraw a regular income or once off cash lump sums from your ARF whenever you want. Any income you take from the ARF will be liable to income tax at your marginal rate plus the universal social charge, and PRSI if you are under age 66. Alternatively, you can choose to use the fund in your ARF to purchase an annuity (an income for life) at a later date.
An Approved Minimum Retirement Fund (AMRF) is similar to an ARF, except the only access you have to income up to age 75 is to withdraw up to a maximum 4% of the AMRF value every year.
How does it work?
Unlike a life assurance company, we hold the A(M)RF assets in trust on behalf of the A(M)RF investor. This means that clients’ assets are not held on NRFM’s balance sheet. All accounts are individually designated in the client’s name and the client is a co-signatory on their investments and individual bank accounts.
Existing pension assets can be transferred in specie to the NRFM Self-Invested ARF. For example, property held in any existing Small Self-Administered Pension Scheme (SSAPS) can be transferred into an ARF. This allows the ARF holder to retain any direct property as a retirement fund asset and have the rental income as a pension. Investment growth generated by the A( M)RF investments is exempt from income tax and capital gains tax.
Once you are aged 60 years or over for a full tax year it is a Revenue requirement that you make a deemed withdrawal of a certain amount each year from your ARF and pay tax as if you had made an actual withdrawal. Where the total ARF value is €2 million or less, the deemed withdrawal is 4% per annum if you are aged between 60 and 70 years, or 5% per annum if you are aged 70 years or over for the full tax year. The deemed withdrawal is 6% per annum if the total ARF value exceeds €2 million. Any actual withdrawals made by you during the year from your ARF will count towards the deemed withdrawal limit.
An AMRF is similar to an ARF, except that there are restrictions on how much you can take from the fund. You may only make one withdrawal each year from an AMRF of up to maximum of 4% of the value of your fund at that time. Otherwise the capital in an AMRF cannot be accessed before you reach age 75 or on earlier death.
The NRFM Self-Invested ARF offers the holder the opportunity to manage their retirement funds without the investment restrictions usually found with traditional life assurance products. The self-invested ARF is designed for individuals that are comfortable with making their own investment decisions and have a clear understanding of investment risk. On death the value of you’re A(M)RF is passed to your estate, or your A(M)RF may be replaced with an ARF contract in the name of your spouse/civil partner on the instructions of the executors or administrators dealing with your estate.
For more information please refer to our ARF Brochure or contact your Financial Advisor.