Can I draw my pension early?
It can be tempting to draw down your pension before retirement, especially if you need the finances. But is it possible?
In Ireland tax relief for saving for retirement is given, therefore withdrawing your funds ahead of time is not encouraged and is often only allowed if there is a case of ill-health, such as that caused by a long-term disability. If this is the case and you are experiencing a serious illness, then you can access your personal pension at any age. Otherwise, if you want to access your pension early, you must wait until you're 50 to draw it down if you are in an occupational pension scheme and you must be 60 in the case of a PRSA (50 if you're an employee and leaving service) or a retirement annuity pension.
There is such a thing as "liberating" your pension, however this can be extremely risky. Of course, if you are experiencing financial difficulty and know that you have funds you can't access, it can be tempting to go down the pension liberation route. These 'pension unlocking' services exist where companies offer to release retirement funds by routing money through other jurisdictions, other than Ireland. There have been a lot of negative reports around pension liberation, so you should consider the risks carefully before going down this route and take independent, professional legal and tax advice.
Planning for retirement is an important step to take, and it's never too soon or too late to start planning your pension which will ensure you have the lifestyle and financial stability you desire in your retirement.
Our pension calculators can help you decide how much to contribute towards your pension and how long you should be saving for. They'll also show you the levels of tax relief you may be eligible for on your contributions. Find out how much you could save.
Not sure what you're spending your money on and want to see how much you could save for your retirement? Take a quick look at your monthly income and expenses with our budget calculator. This will give you an idea on how much money you have available to save.
The information contained herein is based on Zurich Life's understanding of current Revenue practice as at January 2017 and may change in the future.