Approved Retirement Fund (ARF)
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.
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 make 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.
How does it work?
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.
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.
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.