Pension Planning Advice in Donegal

Retirement Planning Donegal – Retire with Financial Freedom!

What is Retirement Planning?

Retirement Planning, sometimes calling Pension Planning, is your way to insure your financial freedom when you want to stop work. It is preparing today for your tomorrows, your future needs in life so that you can enjoy your golden years. A pension plan give you options when you get to “pension age” pays you a regular income when you come to this pension age. And it can also pay you a ‘tax free lump sum‘.

By having a good pension plan in place you can concentrate on enjoying your retirement. As everyone is different, so too is your retirement plans, therefore at key stages in your life it is worth reviewing your pension planning.

Whatever your needs, give one of our qualified pensions advisors a call and they will be happy to discuss your personal pension options with you.

Retirement Planning Donegal | Advice First Financial

watch this 2 minute 37 seconds video about Retirement Planning

Switching pension plan providers is Easy!

You can switch providers without incurring any costs. As independent Financial Brokers we will research the marketplace to bring you the best retirement/pension plans for you at this time. At Advice First our Key Focus is our customers. We are committed to providing you with a quality pension advice service at all times

Get Independent Retirement Planning Advice

With our approach to the retirement/pension planning market, we are able to offer impartial advice on pensions and savings to our happy clients, mainly in Donegal, but also throughout Ireland.

In addition to retirement planning, if you are interested in information on securing the future of your family, check out our Life Insurance & Protection page.

To talk about your Retirement and Pension Plans call us now on 074 91 03938

Protect your financial future with this Pension & Retirement Calculator from Zurich Life

Retirement & Pension Services

never too old to begin preparing for retirement

Personal Pensions

Retirement Planning, sometimes calling Pension Planning, is your way to insure your financial freedom when you want to stop work.

Personal Pensions >>



The term “annuity” means a series of pension payments, normally monthly, until a particular event occurs.

Annuity >>

Personal Retirement Bond Donegal

Personal Retirement Bond

A Personal Retirement Bond (PRB) is a pension plan which receives a single contribution. It aims to provide a fund you can use to buy pension benefits.

Personal Retirement Bond >>

advice first retirement planning donegal

Executive Pension Plans

Why should I plan for my retirement? Your retirement may seem like a long way off, but it is never too early to start planning

Executive Pension Plans >>

Personal Retirement Savings Plans Donegal

Personal Retirement Savings Plans

A PRSA is a private pension plan, separate from the State pension scheme and is available from banks and insurance companies.

Personal Retirement Savings Plans (PRSA’s) >>

Approved Retirement Funds Donegal

Approved Retirement Funds

When you retire, you may have a decision to make on how you wish to access your pension fund.

Approved Retirement Funds >>

Additional Voluntary Contributions Donegal

Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC)

Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) are a simple and tax-efficient way for pension scheme members to save for their retirement.

Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC) >>

At a Glance…

Retirement Advice and Guidance Tailored To You

    • Pension Calculation: Choose the regular income amount you want to provide for in retirement (limits apply)
    • Call back to choose the tax free lump sum you want to provide for at retirement
    • Personal Retirement Goals: Choose what age you want to stop work
    • Paid to you with minimum fuss stop paying the plan at any time without penalty
    • Transparent information on Additional Voluntary Contributions, Pension Contribution Limits in Ireland and Pension Comission.
    • Pay monthly by direct debit to spread the cost.

Still Unsure about Pension Planning?

Why not take advantage of our Pension Review, this review will give you a professional pension plan assessment on how well your existing pension arrangements will meet your needs. This advice may even save you a lot of money or disappointment later.

How does a pension work?

Zurich Life - How does a pension work?

Click to watch this 1 minute video


What some of our happy Retirement Planning & Pensions customers have to say…


Pascal is an excellent financial advisor who is highly knowledgeable and sincere with a unique talent to help put us at ease when making committed financial decisions. We would highly recommend Pascal and his team to look after and guide those who require a steady and able steer in the right direction, while taking all the hard work out of it.

Ronan McConnell

Pascal provides a top class service and exceptional advice. He’s responsive and delivers information in a very clear and understandable way. I would. highly recommend his services.

Joanne Sweeney

Pension / Retirement FAQ’s

I am approaching retirement, what do I need to do?

The first thing to do is contact your Financial Broker or provider, if you don’t have an advisor find one you feel comfortable with, I would suggest one that charges a consultation fee, that way you will get advise rather that one that wants to sell you something..

You are welcome to give us a shout

Your advisor will make contact with your provider to prepare and issue your retirement options pack, which will include a claim form. Once received your Financial Advisor and you can discuss which option is best for you.

What happens if I have to retire early due to ill health?

If you have to retire early due to ill heath you should be able to take your pension benefits as soon as that happens. If you are a member of an employer Pension Scheme the Trustees of your Scheme will have to sign off on your ill health. If you are a member of a Personal Pension or PRSA your ill health claim will need to be admitted by your provider.

What is an Annuity?

An annuity is a contract with a life assurance company that will pay you a regular pension income for the rest of your life in return for you paying them a lump sum when you retire. The amount of pension income (annuity) you receive will depend on many factors such as the size of the lump sum, annuity rates at the time, your age, whether it is payable for a set period and/or includes a dependant’s pension and state of health. You do not have to take the annuity with your current provide and it is very important to shop around as annuity rates can defer greatly.

When can I claim my pension?

If you have a Personal Pension or an Individual PRSA you can take your benefits from age 60. You do not have to retire to take your pension benefits. Some occupations such as fishermen, firefighters and jockeys can retire earlier.

If you are a member of an employer Pension Scheme then, subject to the rules of the scheme, you may be able to take your benefits at any time after your 50th birthday. If you do so between age 50 and 60, you must retire from your job. From age 60 you can continue to work and take your benefits at the same time. There are specific rules relating to company directors though.

What is an ARF?

An Approved Retirement Fund is a personal investment fund where you can keep part, or all of your pension invested as a lump sum after retirement. You can withdraw from it regularly to give yourself an income. It also enables you to pass on the remaining value of your fund to your dependants when you die. There are eligibility criteria and not everyone can access the ARF option. You should speak with your Financial Advisor if you have any queries.

Is there a maximum pension fund I can have?

Depending on the type of pension arrangement you have, there will be limits as to how much you can contribute to your pension plan. However, in all cases there is an overall standard pension fund threshold of currently €2 million. We recommend that you seek professional financial advice if you wish to maximise the value of your pension fund before retirement.

What happens to my Pension if I die?

This will depend on whether to die post or pre-retirement.

If you die before retiring your pension fund will be paid to estate, if you die after taking your retirement options than it depends on whether you have selected an Annuity or an ARF

Annuities are guaranteed for 5 years, so if you die before the 5th year the income will continue to be paid to your next of kin up to the 5th year. After that the annuity stops. Before you retire you can choose to extend the guaranteed term to 10 years.

On retirement, if you had selected to invest your pension fund into an ARF than the fund is paid to your estate,

Normally your pension will cease on your death unless you have purchased a pension which is payable for a minimum period even in the event of death.

Will my Pension be taxed?

Pension payments are subject to income tax at your marginal rate and USC deductions under the PAYE system. PRSI (up to age 66) may also apply. Your provider will make these deductions at source based on your rate of income tax and will remit them to the Revenue Commissioners on your behalf.

Can I re-invest my pension lump sum?

If you take part of your pension as a free lump sum, you are free to do what you want with your lump sum. One of the options available to you is to re-invest part or all of your money for your future. You should seek advice to help you select the investment fund options designed to meet your needs. There are a range of investment funds from very low to very high risk funds.

What happen to my ARF when I die?

When you die, the remaining value of your ARF is available and can be left in your will as part of your estate. The proceeds can also be transferred into an ARF in your spouse’s/civil partner’s name.

Do I have to purchase my Annuity from the provide I have my pension funds with currently?

Not necessarily, you should be able to purchase your Annuity from any provider. You should check if there is an “open market” option available to you and if so, speak to your Independent Broker or for further information. It is worth shopping around for the best annuity.

What are the risks of an ARF?

When you purchase an annuity pension, you have the comfort of a secure income for the remainder of your life. When you buy an ARF, there is no guaranteed income and the length of time that your fund will be available depends on the withdrawals you make, and the investment growth achieved by your fund.

For example, if a high level of withdrawals were made relative to the growth achieved, there is a risk that your fund could run out before death – and the longer you live, the greater the chances of this happening. You should also note that, in order to achieve good returns, it is likely that an ARF will invest at least partly in assets such as shares, bonds and property. The value of these assets may fall as well as rise, particularly in the short term.

What is an Approved Minimum Retirement Fund (AMRF)?

To set up an Approved Retirement Fund you must have a guaranteed pension income of at least €12,700 per annum or have invested €63,500 in an Approved Minimum Retirement Fund (AMRF) and/or Annuity.

Similar to an ARF an AMRF is an investment fund which is personally owned by you. It has the following features:

  • Any investment growth achieved can be accessed at any time and this is subject to taxation.
  • An AMRF becomes an ARF on the individual reaching age 75 or earlier death.
  • An AMRF also becomes an ARF on the individual satisfying the minimum guaranteed income requirement.

Am I too young to start a pension?

The simple answer is you are never too young to prepare for retirement. I know, I know, we would say that wouldn’t we! But it really is the case.

Pensions really do matter to all of us. This is more so because of a raft of changes that have taken place over the last two decades.
To begin with, the medical experts predict that we will all live longer.
Whether it is as a result of taking better care of our bodies, advances in medical research or innovations in pharmaceuticals, people are living longer. So, the income you will have when you retire wouldbe greatly influenced by saving a little as early as you can.

If you have questions or need Retirement Planning & Pensions Advice, call 074 9103938 or get in touch though our contact page

The Pensions Authority regulates occupational pension schemes, trust RACs and Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSAs).