Unlock your pension early

Are you are a Deferred / Former Member of an Occupational Work Scheme?

The Minister for Finance amended the legislation governing Occupational Pension Schemes in Ireland in 2016.

The changes allow more flexibility for retirement options to current and former members of Occupational Pension Schemes.

This means that in most cases you can access your Occupation Pension Scheme from age 50 (depending on scheme rules).

Current and former members are no longer forced to take an annuity at retirement, i.e. an income for life that can die with them.

Instead, they can choose to move their Occupational Pension Scheme benefits into a bond in their own name (called a Personal Retirement Bond or Buy Out Bond), and when they want to retire it, they are eligible to choose the Approved Retirement Fund (ARF) Option.

After taking their tax free lump sum, the balance of funds will continue to be invested (and will hopefully continue to grow) in an Approved Retirement Fund – rather than buying an annuity.

The ARF option allows the member to take a 25% Tax Free Lump Sum – from age 50.

What’s more, on death of the member the remaining funds in either the Personal Retirement Bond / Buy out Bond or Approved Retirement Fund can be left in their estate for their family. It does not die with the member.

Early Ill Health

Alternatively, you may be able to take early retirement on grounds of ill health if you suffer from physical or mental deterioration which is bad enough to prevent you from following your normal employment or which very seriously impairs your earning capacity.

(You should note that a minor decline in energy or ability is not adequate to justify early retirement on the grounds of ill health).

Death’s Door Concession

If you have a terminal illness (where life expectancy is measured in months rather than years), Revenue allows your entire occupational pension funds to be drawn down at a concessionary income tax rate of 10%.

The difference between this rate and the rates of income tax, USC and PRSI (up to 55%) is substantial.

How do I get started?

  1. Have a chat with an Irish Pensions advisor – call (01)8570655, fill in the form below to arrange a call, or start a conversation using our Online Chat (click the icon on the bottom right of the screen).
  2. The advisor will ask you some simple questions to identify if you qualify to unlock your pension early.
  3. With your permission, we’ll contact your pension scheme to get up to date figures and we’ll help you with the paper work.

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Sure Financial Ltd t/a Irish Pensions is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.


Irish Pensions

Parkside 11, Mulhuddart, Dublin 15.

(01) 8570655