Can I get tax relief on my pension contributions?
The amount of tax relief on your personal contributions to all pension arrangements is based on your age and your earnings.
|Your age ||% of net relevant earnings*|
|60 or over||40%|
* for the 2011 tax year, net relevant earnings are subject to a ceiling of €115,000 for the purpose of calculating tax relief.
Why do I need a pension?
You need your own pension because the state pension isn’t that generous. The full single contributory state pension is less than €12k a year. Compare this to your salary now and the income you hope to live on when you retire. This is why you need your own pension.
When I take my pension, what tax do I pay?
Pension (annuity) payments are treated as income and taxed under the PAYE system.
Can I transfer my pension benefits to an overseas scheme?
Yes, if you’re a member of a company pension scheme or if it’s from a PRSA. You’ll need to get the receiving scheme to confirm that the pension benefits will be similar to what you are transferring from and it’s approved by the country’s pension regulator.
Can I cash in my pension policy?
Your pension is to provide for your retirement and you can’t normally cash it in before age 60.
There are circumstances where you can retire as early as age 50. This would normally require the approval of your employer and/or Revenue.
Where you are permanently unable to work or terminally ill, you may be able to retire at any time with the approval of Revenue and/or Standard Life.
What is a buy out bond?
A buy out bond (also known as a personal retirement bond) is a policy where you can transfer your pension fund if you leave a company pension scheme or if the pension scheme is being shut down. The trustees set up the buy out bond for you and put you in control, so they don't have to be involved any more.
How do I top up my pension?
Send us a cheque, together with your policy number and investment choice to:
90 St Stephen’s Green
What’s the earliest age I can take my pension?
Normally age 60, if you take early retirement from your employer (from age 50), you may be able to take your pension at the same time. If you are in an occupation where early retirement is normal, the Revenue may allow you to take your pension as early as age 50. If you are permanently unable to work due to serious illness or disability, you may be able to take your pension at any age.
When I retire, what is the maximum cash lump sum I can get?
25% of the value of your pension policy. The first €200,000 cash lump sum is tax free. The next €375,000 will be taxed at 20%. Anything over €575,000 will be treated as income and taxed under the PAYE system.
If you are a member of a company pension scheme, you have the option of taking a lump sum based on your salary and length of service instead.
If you have already taken some pension benefits or are in a defined benefits scheme, then talk to your Financial Adviser as the limits that apply to you may differ.
Is there a limit to how much I should put into my pension?
Yes, because if all your pension funds total more than €2.3m, you’ll have to pay an additional tax (41%) on the excess.
If you have already taken a pension, talk to your financial adviser as the limits may be different. If you buy an annuity and invest in an ARF, any payments from them will be treated as income and taxed under the PAYE system.
Is my Standard Life policy protected?
As Standard Life operates as a branch of our UK parent company, policies taken out since 1 December 2001 are covered by the UK’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the event that Standard Life is in default.
This means that if you have a Standard Life Synergy policy, your policy is covered by the FSCS which covers 90% of the claim, without any upper limit.
For more information, visit the FSCS website, www.fscs.org.uk
What is the maximum pension that I can take?
If you have a personal pension or a PRSA, the maximum amount of pension depends on your policy value and annuity rates at the time.
If you are a member of a company pension scheme, it is 2/3rds final salary provided you have10 years service to normal retirement age and you have no retained benefits.
What is the pension levy?
It’s an annual tax of 0.6% imposed on the market value of your pension in each of the years 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. It applies to all pension policies, e.g. pension schemes, buy out bonds, personal pensions and PRSAs.
Why is the Government introducing it?
The Government wants to raise approximately €470 million each year to fund a jobs initiative that was announced in May 2011.
What are the principle features of the pension levy?
- The levy is payable to the Revenue once a year at a rate of 0.6%
- The value of the assets subject to the levy is the market value of the pension funds at 30 June each year up to 2014
- Standard Life is responsible for the payment of the levy to the Revenue because it has the responsibility of managing the assets of pension schemes or plans
How is the levy calculated?
The 0.6% levy is based on the market value of your pension on the 30 June each year from 2011 to 2014.
The levy calculation is based on the Transfer Value of policies before any product exit/investment content penalty deductions.
How will the levy be deducted?
The levy will be deducted by cancelling the appropriate number of units from your policy. The deduction will be proportioned according to the investment split within your policy.
For Self Directed Options, the levy will be deducted from your policy cash account.
What type of policies does the levy apply to?
The levy applies to all pension policies i.e. company pension schemes, buy out bonds, personal pensions and PRSAs.
What products are exempt from the levy?
The levy does not apply to ARF/AMRF, annuity and vested (post-retirement) PRSA contracts (PRSAs where the pension lump sum has been taken). Nor does it apply to savings or investment policies.
If I take my retirement benefits this year, will I be subject to this levy next year?
If you have taken your benefits on or before the 30 June 2011, there is no levy payable.
If your policy is in force on the 30 June each year from 2011 to 2014 then the levy will be applicable for each of those years.
What if I have any other questions?
If you have any further questions contact your financial adviser or call us on 01 639 7000 to speak to a customer service representative.