What are Personal Pension Plans?

Financial Architects

A personal pension has been conceived for self-employed individuals or those with a job that does not provide a pension plan.

A personal pension plan is independent from a State pension and is offered by various financial companies, from banks to insurance companies.

It’s limited to self-employed people or those who aren’t included in a company pension plan. It is fundamentally a tax-efficient savings fund set up by yourself to save towards your post-working days.

How much should I put into my Personal Pension?

Starting a Personal Pension can be done with an investment of around €100 a month, however, you should consider some things before electing your monthly amount:

What’s your current age?

What age do you plan to retire at?

How much time is there left to your retirement?

What’s your current income?

Commonly, consensus recommends you should set your sights on retirement with two-thirds of your current wage – already including the State’s pension. Since a Personal Pension Plan is flexible, you may maintain your contributions at a consistent value, or you can reduce or increase them as time goes by, when suitable, with the aim of achieving your retirement fund goals. You can likewise increase your Private Pension Plan with a lump sum payment at any time.

What are the tax benefits to Personal Pension Plans?

A PPP is a highly tax-efficient method for saving towards your retirement. Monthly contributions to a Personal Pension are qualified for income tax relief and at the marginal tax rates. Let’s say you would pay 40% tax rate, then for every €1 you would put into your Personal Pension, there’s a 40 cent return in tax relief. On a larger simulation, to envision how much you could save per year: if you were to invest €1000 in Personal Pension contributions a year, it would only cost you a sixth of it, €600, with income tax relief.

There are limits to income tax relief from the Government on your maximum contributions in that given year, depending on your age:


Value eligible for tax relief

30 15% of net relevant earnings
30 to 39 20%
40 to 49 25%
50 to 54 30%
55 to 59 35%
60 plus 40%

Furthermore, the progress reached by your PPP will not be subject to taxes. Meaning that you profit from the investment growth and income that your Private Pension Plan gains.

Where should I invest my Personal Pension?

It’s very much common to rely on a Personal Pension to deliver a significant flow of income for retirement years, but for that to happen it’s crucial to invest your pension wisely. Many options are available for this, such as low and high-risk investment funds in particular assets, or managed/mixed funds by investing in a portfolio of assets or self-directed funds – where you pick the assets or funds in which you choose to invest.

In the end, the Personal Pension investment that you go for should offer to you a varied range of investment possibilities that will meet your shifting situations over time. Any decision you take should be based on the investment risk levels that you are content with and should bear in mind your financial conditions and goals. It’s important to acknowledge that values of your Personal Pension can rise as well as it can fall, depending on the assets or funds you choose to invest in.

Age for Retirement

You can pick your own normal retirement age from 60 to 75 years old.

What are my options for retirement?

Personal Pension plans are designed to offer a fund, which is able to purchase benefits upon retirement. This offers flexibility in determining which format those benefits should take.

The following solutions are on offer:

  • An up to 25% tax-free lump sum of the total value in the pension fund
  • Using the balance of the capital for acquisition of an Approved Retirement Fund or purchasing an annuity.
  • The retirement benefits provided under a personal pension will be directly calculated by the accumulated worth of the pension plan attributable to the contributions paid towards the pension fund, hence the status of retirement benefits not being a guarantee.

What our clients say about us

The Financial Architect process encouraged Anne and I to vision our future and plan and shape it with confidence. We chose our future lifestyle and now confidently make decisions around that, not through a fear factor. On reflection previously the pension process has been planning in a fog and letting others overly influence future decisions. No longer, I feel we have more control and Derek and the team provide us with options.


Rebecca Scott

I have met with Derek recently for both pension and investment advice. He gives a lot of his time to advise you in a clear and concise manner. His retirement advice has made my pension options very understandable and I feel confident that my investments are in good hands.


Carmel Byrne