Pensions Explained

What are the Pension Options in Ireland?

Personal Pensions:

Personal Pension policies are designed for those who are self-employed or who work in non-pensionable employment, and who wish to save towards a more rewarding retirement. The policy is contributed to by the member.

Retirement can be taken from between 60 to 75 years of age.

Because everybody is different, being at different life stages and having different retirement goals, we at A.J. Short & Associates, can offer you the ability to tailor charging structures and fund choices to suit your needs.

Executive Pensions:

Executive Pension policies are suitable for directors of limited companies, senior executives and employees who wish to invest towards their future & their retirement.  The policy can be contributed to by the employer and/or the member themselves either through regular or single contributions.

Company Pensions:

Defined Contribution schemes are pensions where the employer normally pays a specific percentage of the scheme member’s salary into a pension fund, and the employee is usually obliged to contribute a similar or smaller amount.  The employer makes no promises about the size of the actual pension that will be paid upon retirement. Individual members have their own investment ‘account’ and the eventual retirement income will depend entirely on:

  • The number and level of contributions made over the years;
  • The returns achieved by the investment fund(s) used;
  • The term over which the retirement fund accumulates;
  • The charges deducted from the retirement fund;
  • The annuity rates prevailing at the date of retirement

Choosing a group pensions partner is one of the most important decisions you as an employer can make.  We understand that the smooth running of a group pension scheme can strengthen our relationship with you.  We believe that all successful company pension schemes are built on a solid foundation and we believe these to be:

Service & Administration:

At AJ Short & Associates we believe the ‘personal touch’ is all about what we do for you, and how well wedo it.  By working in partnership with you, our ‘can do’ approach will ensure smooth administration and ongoing management of the scheme – while ensuring the legislative burden placed on trustees is eased.

The investment strategy:

The highs and lows of the world’s stock markets underline what every employee, employer, trustee and adviser needs to know – namely that every investment carries some degree of risk. That’s why when choosing a pension partner you can have the confidence in their investment capabilities and that they shall provide the right investment strategy for you. AJ Short & Associates assess your risk profile and provide recommendations based on your attitude to risk.

The design of the Pension Scheme:

At AJ Short & Associates, we don’t believe in the ‘one size fits all’ approach to designing the company pension scheme.  We believe flexibility is important within any scheme and hence why we search the market place for the right solution for you


PRSAs are individual Personal Retirement Saving Accounts which are a type of defined contribution scheme to which both regular and single contributions can be made. Policies can be contributed to by all, regardless of employment status. Contributions can be made to the policy by an individual and/or their employer.

PRSAs are a flexible pension contract which allow the individual to carry their benefits from one employer to another and which provide the individual with the ability to increase, decrease or stop their contributions at any time without any penalty.

Buy Out Bonds:

A Buy Out Bond is a single premium pension policy used to transfer a company pension scheme fund when leaving that employment.

The policy is issued in the name of the member. The previous employer and the pension Trustees have no further involvement.

Retirement can be taken from between 60 to 70 years of age.

Because everybody is different, being at different life stages and havingdifferent retirement goals, we at AJ Short & Associates we can offer you the ability to tailor charging structures and fund choice to suit your needs.


The Approved Retirement Fund (ARF), and Approved Minimum Retirement Fund (AMRF), is a unit linked single premium post-retirement investment product.

At AJ Short & Associates we offer an extensive range of ARF/AMRF with clear charging structures, flexibility, value for money and wide investment choice which is everything a client needs in retirement.

An ARF allows a client to take a regular income in retirement from the fund. An AMRF however restricts withdrawals to the investment growth made on the policy only, until the age of 75. All withdrawals are taxed as income.

From 2007 tax is payable on deemed distributions from an ARF. This means that if you do not take a withdrawal, a tax charge will nevertheless be made to your policy based on a notional withdrawal or ‘deemed distribution’ amount. The deemed distribution is 5% of the value of your ARF assets at 31 December each year. However, actual withdrawals made by you will be creditable against the deemed distribution charge. These rules do not apply until you are 60 years of age or over for the entire tax year.


Upon retirement an individual may purchase an annuity as part of their retirement options, which in turn provides a regular income to the client to replace their employment salary. In effect, the insurance company becomes their ‘employer’.

Pensions can appear to be complex, what are my options?

It makes sense to obtain impartial advice in relation to either setting upa pension plan or reviewing an existing arrangement. Why not give us a call on 014913131 and see if we can help or alternatively arrange a Coffee Meeting.  A Coffee Meeting is a half hour consultation, which allows you the opportunity to establish if our services can benefit you. There is no charge for this service and is undertaken without obligation on either party.