Whether you’re new to the workforce or you’re years into your career, it’s likely that
you’ve thought about starting a pension at some stage. If it’s something you’ve yet to
do, the prospect can be a bit daunting – but it doesn’t have to be.
Starting a pension doesn’t have to be complicated. There is a huge amount of
advisors and financial brokers available to help. They’re more accessible than
they’ve ever been before. There’s no reason to not find a way to get to a pension.
So, where exactly do you begin when planning for your future?
First things first, what exactly is a pension?
Understanding what a pension is pretty simple. A pension is basically a savings plan.
The idea is to save money into the pot and this is the money you use to help you live
on when you retire.” This money is then invested in funds, allowing it to grow over
The State gives you a pension if you have enough PRSI contributions. The
maximum State pension at the moment is just under €13,000 per year. So the idea is
to save for your own private pension separate to the supplement that they give you.
I already have a savings account. How is a pension any different?
While a pension operates as a savings plan, there are many benefits to having one
rather than just putting the money away yourself into a regular savings account every
month. There are lots of benefits to starting a pension. The main benefits really are
that you’re prepared for the future, and it can give you flexibility as to when you want
to retire. You might decide to retire early, or that you never want to retire. It’s
whatever works for you.
On top of that, pension contributions offer tax relief. Having a pension is the most tax
efficient way of saving in Ireland right now. When you save into a pension you can
normally get tax relief, at your marginal rate. What’s more, the returns in a pension
fund roll up free of tax. When you retire, you can take up to €200,000 of your funds
tax free, and the remaining fund is then used to provide an income for you in
I don’t have a lot of cash to spare. Is it really worth my while starting a pension?
Start it off as quickly as you can, but start it off at a rate that you can manage.
Pensions benefit from the idea of compounding.
How do I know which fund to choose?
The money you save into your pension is invested in funds, allowing you to
accumulate even more savings over time. Choosing a fund is something an advisor
or financial broker will help with.
You have to look at how much risk you want to take. You’re going to be investing this
money from now until you retire, how much risk do you want to take with it? People
might be risk averse, but if you’ve got a really long time to invest before you retire,
you may be able to afford to take more risk because you’re doing it for a very long
How do I get started?
If you’ve decided to start a pension, we recommend first speaking to your employer
to find out what they offer. Most employers will do your pension payment through
salary deductions, so you won’t even notice it’s gone. It’s like a direct debit.
If your employer doesn’t pay into an employee’s pensions, they’re still obliged by law
to offer you access to a PRSA (Personal Retirement Savings Account).
The longer you wait to start your pension, the harder it’s going to be to build up the
proper funds you need for your retirement. The key really is to start with whatever
you can afford. The more you’re putting in all the time, the more it will grow without
you even realising it.
Reach out today
The information contained herein is based on Zurich Life’s understanding of current Revenue practice as at 31st July 2021 and may change in the future.
Warning: If you invest in these funds you may lose some or all of the money you invest.
Warning: Benefits may be affected by changes in currency exchange rates.
Warning: Past performance is not a reliable guide to future performance.
Warning: The value of your investment may go down as well as up.