7 Differences of Annuity and ARF in Ireland

7 Differences of Annuity and ARF

7 Differences of Annuity and ARF [Guide for Retirement Pension]

There are many different types of pension retirement options in Ireland, and it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. In this blog post, we will discuss the difference between an annuity and an Approved Retirement Fund (ARF) . We will also provide some tips on how to choose the right option for your needs.

What Is an Approved Retirement Fund (ARF) and How Does It Work?

An Approved Retirement Fund (ARF) is a post-retirement agreement. When you retire from a pension contract, and after you have taken the lump sum of your retirement, the remaining balance of your pension fund may be put into an ARF.

You can choose where you wish to invest and can take a regular income or one-time cash lump sum from your ARF at any time you’d like. The income you draw down from the ARF is subject to taxation at your marginal rate, plus the universal social charge, in addition to PRSI when you are younger than the age of 66. You can also opt to use the funds in your ARF for the purchase of an annuity (an income that lasts for the rest of your life) in the future.

What Is an Annuity and How Does It Work?

An annuity is a life insurance policy that pays out a fixed sum of money over a set period. Annuities are typically used as an income replacement during retirement. When you purchase an annuity, you will pay a lump sum of money to the insurance company. In return, the insurance company will agree to pay you a fixed sum of money every month for the rest of your life.

There are several options to choose from when buying an annuity. A Single Life Annuity is payable for the remainder of your life. If you have the Joint Life Annuity, the pension portion will be paid to your spouse when you die . If you opt to add a Guaranteed Period, the pension will be due for a specified time regardless of whether you die within that period. A Level Annuity is when the amount of the Annuity is constant throughout your lifetime, and an Escalating Annuity is when your Annuity payment grows at a predetermined annual rate.

It is essential to pick an annuity that is in line with your personal needs and those of your spouse when you retire. With this, seeking financial advice before deciding to get an annuity is essential.

What Are the Differences Between ARF and Annuity?

  1. Flexibility to withdraw your money.

With an ARF, you have the flexibility to make withdrawals from your account at any time. You can withdraw money from your approved retirement fund (ARF) whenever you want to, but you must pay taxes on withdrawals. There is a compulsory withdrawal rate of 4% annually that increases to 5% per year when you reach 70. Regular withdrawals decrease the value of the ARF, and it could bomb-out while you’re alive ie you outlive it.

If you choose an annuity, you are locked into the contract and will only receive the income that was decided at outset.

  1. Ability to invest your money

With an ARF, you can continue to invest your money and grow your account balance. The NRFM Self-Invested ARF offers the holder the opportunity to manage their retirement funds without the investment restrictions usually found with traditional ARFs with insurance companies.

The self-invested ARF is designed for individuals comfortable with making their own investment decisions and who have a clear understanding of investment risk.

With an annuity, there are no investment decisions to be made, as you have simply bought a guaranteed income from the insurance company, irrespective of how markets perform. ..  

  1. Risk adversity

Annuities are a better option for those who want to be protected from risk factors like the volatility of the stock market and want a secure income during their retirement. 

Economic and stock market volatility cycles won’t impact your earnings. You have the peace of mind that your money is intact. 

With the approved retirement fund (ARF) , you are taking on the investment risks as you, with your financial advisor are making an active investment decision to invest in a particular asset class.  Investment returns will vary and can fall as well as rise.  Future investment returns are not guaranteed. A strategy for investing must be carefully managed to ensure that the income is sustainable since returns cannot be assured.

  1. Income tax payment

For an ARF, you will pay income taxes on money that you withdraw from your account. The withdrawals you make from your approved retirement fund (ARF) are subject to income tax, the Universal Social Charge (USC), and the PRSI (where applicable). In the meantime, the ARF will remain invested in the funds that you choose. Taxes will be deducted at the source by the ARF provider.

Similarly, with an annuity, the income is subject to income tax, PRSI, and USC and will be deducted by the annuity provider at the source.

  1. Long-term financial support

Another advantage of Annuity is you will receive a guaranteed income for the rest of your life. Your earnings will continue to be paid no matter the time you live.

On the other hand, if you did not invest your approved retirement fund (ARF) wisely, there’s the possibility that part or all of the funds could be exhausted before it is fully utilized.

  1. Outcome after policyholder’s death

With an annuity, when the policyholder dies, the payments stop, and there is no death benefit. 

When the ARF policyholder dies, the ARF may pass to their next of kin,  If the next of kin is their spouse then they have the option to “step in” to the shoes of their deceased spouse and become the ARF holder or alternatively, they can decide to withdraw all monies from the ARF, but this will be treated as income and taxed as such.  The approved retirement fund (ARF) can be used to purchase an annuity for the beneficiary 

The preservation of assets is the primary benefit of an ARF since it can survive the death of the owner. 

The main difference between these two is that annuity payments die with the holder, while the ARF will pass to the next of kin of the deceased.  

How Do You Decide Which Option Is Best for You?

The type of post retirement plan  that is right for you will depend on your individual needs and circumstances. If you are looking for a policy that will provide you with a steady income stream during retirement and don’t want to take any investment risk then an annuity may be the better option. 

If you are looking for a policy that offers more flexibility and allows you to continue to grow your account balance, ARF may be the better choice. Ultimately, the decision between an approved retirement fund (ARF) and an annuity is a personal one and should be made with the help of a financial advisor.

When deciding whether an approved retirement fund (ARF) or annuity is right for you, it is important to seek professional financial advice from a Qualified Financial Advisor  to ensure that you are making the best decision for your individual needs. 


The Personal Retirement Bond

The Personal Retirement Bond

What is the Personal Retirement Bond?

A Personal Retirement Bond (PRB) is a single premium pension contract set up by a former member of an employer-sponsored occupational pension scheme for their benefit on leaving the scheme. The value of their fund on leaving the company pension scheme is invested in the PRB in their own name. It is then an individual / personal contract between the holder and the pension provider. On retirement, the holder of the bond can use the proceeds of the PRB to provide their retirement benefits.

You should consult with a Qualified Financial Advisor before considering transferring your former employer’s pension benefits to a PRB. In some instances, you may be better off leaving your benefits as part of your former employer’s pension scheme. If you were a former member of a defined benefit(DB) pension it may be in your interests to leave your benefits in the former pension scheme. It is very important to get independent advice when you leave employment and the options available for your pension benefits.

How Does a Self-invested PRB Work?

As one of only a small number of self-invested Personal Retirement Bond providers in the Irish market, the distinct advantage of our PRB contract is the flexibility of investment options. The holder of an NRFM Self-Invested PRB is not tied to an age/risk-related ‘lifestyle’ investment strategy or a strategy defined by trustees and previous employers. The PRB holder makes his or her own investment decisions and retains control of their retirement fund.

The Newcourt Retirement Fund Managers Limited (NRFM) Self Invested Personal Retirement Bond (PRB) is a contract designed to accept a transfer payment from an Occupational Pension Scheme, including a transfer from a Small Self Administered Pension Scheme (SSAPS).

The NRFM Self Invested PRB is effected in your own name and has the same tax-exempt status as an approved Occupational Pension Scheme. The PRB belongs to you and your previous employer/pension trustees have no further involvement in your pension investment.

Who Can Invest in a PRB?

The Personal Retirement Bond is a great investment in the future. This can be availed by people who fall under the following categories:

  • Clients who have left service with their former employers and who wish to transfer their pension benefits under their occupational pension scheme to this new product
  • Clients looking for the opportunity to manage their own pension funds, without the involvement of an insurance company and also without the involvement of their former employers
  • Clients who already hold an external PRB contract
  • Clients who wish to save for retirement
  • Client who wants to avail of retirement tax wrapper benefits

The Personal Retirement Bond is suitable for clients who are prepared to invest for the long term. If you are one  of those people who can invest in a Personal Retirement Bond, it is an investment that you will make use of effectively in the future.

What are the Advantages of PRB?

  1. You personally own the contract.

Once you have left employment you can transfer your former pension to a PRB in your personal name.  Your former employer is no longer connected to your pension. 

     2. You have early access.

On retirement, the bondholder is entitled to the same options with their fund as they had under their previous employer’s pension scheme. It is usually permissible to retire from a PRB at the age of 50 years and onwards subject to revenue rules

     3. You have a greater investment choice.

As you now personally own the personal retirement bond you can decide where to invest. The personal retirement bond offers a variety of investment options, so you can find an investment that meets your needs. You can choose to invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and more.

     4. Death Benefit

In the event of your premature death, the full value of your fund is paid tax-free to your spouse or your estate. 

Why Choose an NRFM Self-Invested Personal Retirement Bond?

There are many reasons to choose the Newcourt Retirement Fund Managers (NRFM) Self-Invested Personal Retirement Bond as your retirement savings plan.

  • The NRFM Self-Invested PRB offers you the opportunity to manage your funds without the involvement of an insurance company.
  • Your funds can be spread across a wide range of allowable investments including:
    1. Deposit Accounts
    2. Direct Property investment (residential or commercial)
    3. Choice of International Investment Managers
    4. Stockbroking firms
    5. Our clients use multiple platforms
    6. Full suite of Insurers investments funds
    7. Private equity
  • The NRFM Self-Invested PRB is designated in your name and provides you with greater flexibility and control in managing your retirement fund.
  • Individual Bank Accounts and Individual Investments Accounts are all set up with Dual Signatories. The Dual Signatories will be the PRB holder and one signature from NRFM.
  • You can transfer assets from an SSAPS in specie to an NRFM Self-Invested PRB.
  • As investment returns are free of both capital gains tax and income tax within certain tax jurisdictions, these investments are extremely tax efficient.
  • You can transfer to another occupational pension scheme later if required.

Newcourt Retirement Fund Managers Limited (NRFM), with its associated business Newcourt Pensioneer Trustees Limited, specializes in providing self-invested pensions.

Our products offer flexibility and options when it comes to your pension investments. Our dedicated team of administrators makes sure that you’re kept up to date and informed about your retirement funds, and they are always on hand to answer your queries.

When deciding which pension plan is right for you, it is important to seek professional financial advice from a Qualified Financial Advisor to ensure that you are making the best decision for your individual needs


Pension Retirement in Ireland

Pension Retirement in Ireland: How to Ease Your Fears of Getting Old

As you age, you may start to worry about retirement. Will you have enough money saved up? How will you live once you stop working? These are valid concerns, but they don’t need to cause anxiety.

In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of pension retirement in Ireland and how it can help ease your fears of getting old. We will also provide tips on how to save for pension retirement and make the most of your golden years!

Why Do People Fear Getting Old?

Gerontophobia, or the fear of aging, is a real phenomenon. It can be caused by many things, including the loss of loved ones, changes in our physical appearance, and the fear of declining health. Whatever the reason, getting old can be scary for some people.

One evident reason why people fear old age because of their inability to work and earn a living. This can be a major source of anxiety for many people. As people grow old, they become more vulnerable to illnesses and diseases that need more financial and emotional support.

For some people, growing old also means losing their independence. They may no longer be able to drive or take care of themselves. This can be a very difficult adjustment for many seniors.

However, there are many benefits to getting older that can help ease your fears.

One of the biggest benefits is that you will have more time to do the things you enjoy. Seniors are often eligible for discounts on travel, entertainment, and other activities. So, even though your income may be reduced, you can still enjoy your life to the fullest.

Another benefit of getting older is that you will have more wisdom and life experience. You can use this knowledge to help others who are going through similar challenges.

Finally, getting older can give you a sense of peace and contentment especially if you have saved enough money for retirement. After years of working hard, you can finally relax and enjoy the benefits of pension retirement. You’ve earned it!

Why Are Pension Retirement Plans Important as You Grow Old?

You are retired from your job but not from living. There is a chance that you have a fresh set of goals for your life post-retirement. However, you might also wish to continue living your life without having to worry about the cost of living.

By planning for your personal retirement, you can determine the steps to reach your goals in life without financial commitment. A Pension Plan is important because it provides a regular income in retirement. This can help to cover your basic living expenses and allow you to enjoy the benefits of pension retirement.

There are many pension plans available, and it’s important to choose what suits your needs. You should consider how much money you need to live on and how long you want to receive payments. You should also think about how you want to receive your pension payments. .

What Are the Available Options for Pension Retirement in Ireland?

If you’re a tax resident and working in Ireland, you’re probably wondering about the benefits of pension retirement and how pension retirement works in Ireland. The good news is that the process is relatively straightforward. The first thing you need to do is speak to a Qualified Financial Advisor who will identify your retirement goals.

Irish State Pension

The Irish government also provides a state pension from age 66. . If you’re eligible, you can receive up to €253 per week. The amount you receive will depend on your age and how much PRSI (Pay-Related Social Insurance) you have paid over the years.

You can apply for the state pension by contacting the Department of Social Protection.

Starting a Pension

You can start saving for your retirement as early as age 18, assuming you have an income from employment. The sooner you start, the better. This is because your money will have more time to grow.

You can make contributions to your pension through your employer or personally if you are self-employed. The government also offers tax relief on these contributions, so it’s worth considering if you’re looking for ways to reduce your tax bill.

Once you reach retirement age, you can start drawing down on your pension. You can choose to take a lump sum and/or an annual pension. The amount you receive will depend on how much money you have saved up.

Why Start a Self-Invested PRSA (SIPRSA)?

With a Self-Invested Pension Security (SIPRSA), you have more control over the way your pension funds are invested. You can pick from a greater variety of investment options which includes bonds, shares, and direct property. It is also possible to make changes to your investment portfolio as your financial circumstances change.

Here are more reasons why SIPRSA is a must-have pension plan in Ireland:

  • Flexibility: Self-invested PRSA contracts offer clients the broadest range of investments available.
  • Transparency: Fees and charges are clear and there are no entry or exit penalties with PRSA contracts.
  • Control: Clients retain investment control of their PRSA investments and are signatory on all of their PRSA transactions.
  • Investment Choice: Allowable investments include deposit accounts, foreign currency, stockbroking accounts, property, government bonds, and private equity. You are also not restricted to any provider, so you have one pension contract but can have a number of different investments and providers/structures.
  • Taxation: Investment growth and capital appreciation generated in PRSA contracts are exempt from income tax and capital gains tax.

Your fear of getting old can be greatly reduced by preparing for your pension retirement now. It is important to have that peace of mind that you have a plan and are ready for your future. Your financial advisor and NFRM can help you with that by providing the best pension plan for you and giving you all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Why Choose NRFM in Securing a Pension Retirement in Ireland?

There are many reasons to choose NRFM for your pension retirement needs. We have over 30 years of experience helping people plan for their retirement. We offer a wide range of pension plans and can help you find the one that best suits your needs.

Newcourt Retirement Fund Managers Ltd (NRFM) provides a range of Self Invested products including Approved Retirement Funds (ARFs), Personal Retirement Bonds (PRBs), and Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSAs). It is our goal to provide an opportunity for individuals to manage their own pension funds, without the involvement of an insurance company.

When deciding which pension plan is right for you, it is important to seek professional financial advice from a Qualified Financial Advisor to ensure that you are making the best decision for your individual needs.

Self-Invested Pensions for the Self-Employed in Ireland

Self-Invested Pensions for the Self-Employed in Ireland

There are a lot of risks to being self-employed. There are a lot of benefits to it, but one of the downsides is that you have to take care of your own pension. This can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be!

In this blog post, we will discuss self-invested pensions for the self-employed in Ireland. We will talk about what they are, how they work, and why they are a great option for those who are self-employed. We will also provide some tips on how to get started with a self-invested pension plan.

What Are Self-invested Pensions and Why Should the Self-employed Consider Them?

Pensioners who have amassed funds over time are considering the places where their pension funds are put and the costs that are associated with the investments.

Many are taking the decision to have more control over their retirement plan in the coming years. Over the past ten years, we have seen an increasing trend of self-employed corporate directors/senior executives, as well as retired people, to self-invested pensions.

The Benefits of a Self-invested Pension for the Self-employed

Self-invested pensions permit them to achieve this in a cost-effective way, however, self-invested pensions aren’t an option for all. This type of pension falls under the rules of revenue on pension investing and is not limited to the investment requirements of any particular service supplier and/or Insurance Company.

They are a great option for those who are self-employed because they offer a lot of flexibility and control. With a self-invested pension, you can choose how your money is invested. You can also choose how much you want to contribute to your pension each year.

What type of pension can I take out?

Self-employed people are offered two primary choices regarding pensions:

  • Personal Pension Plan (PPP)
  • Personal Retirement Savings Program (PRSA)

Personal Pensions or Retirement Annuity Contracts (RACs) were traditionally the most preferred option for self-employed people who want to save for retirement due to the numerous advantages the product provides like the more diverse range of investment options, and possibly lower costs and also for self-employed persons have a more varied income (discuss in a future post).

This is a privately owned pension, which is held in your name. It is offered by a life insurance company to which you can contribute a % of your earnings and benefit from tax relief at your marginal rate. Depending on your age you can contribute between 15% and 40% of your earnings, to maximum earnings of €115,000.

This plan could generate a cash amount due to you upon retirement, in exchange for the contributions you make to the plan (these are either periodic or one-time contributions).

Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSA) are similar to personal pension plans and were first introduced in 2002. They are basically a long-term savings contract with substantial tax reliefs available to everyone under age 75. It was designed principally to be a pre-retirement tool that allows individuals to plan their retirement savings flexibly.

A PRSA Pension is retirement savings account that you can access when you retire, at any point between 60 and 75. You are entitled to a 25% lump sum (with the first €200,000 tax-free and the next €300,000 taxed at the standard rate of tax, currently 20%).

When deciding which pension plan is right for you, it is important to seek professional financial advice from a Qualified Financial Advisor to ensure that you are making the best decision for your individual needs.



RaboDirect have announced they are ceasing pension related banking in Ireland

RaboDirect have announced they are ceasing pension related banking and Tailored Deposit Account Services in Ireland.  As a result of this decision they have informed us that they are no longer in a position to make any 3rd party payments or accept incoming payments with effect from the 1st of July 2017.

Newcourt are happy to announce that we are now opening Bank accounts for our pension structures through Bank of Ireland and we will be in contact with all affected clients to facilitate the timely transfer of monies from Rabodirect to the respective Bank of Ireland accounts.

In the meantime, if you have any questions please contact our offices.

We have moved!

Please note that from March 2015 we are located in new offices;

Father Mathew Hall, 131 Church Street, Dublin 7