My last company pension – leave it or take it with me ?

Q. At age 45, I start a new job early next month and was over 20 years with my last employer – a publican – and have about € 90,000 saved in my company pension. I can either leave it there, take it to my next employment or leave it as a stand alone pension. Am not sure what’s best for me. Can you please advise ? Love the column – Shane Clonmel Co Tipperary

A. Well done Shane on the pension – at least it’s a start. More than half the working population of Ireland have made no provision for their retirement and think the government of the day will have enough money to fund their State Pension when they retire. They need to think again. With your pension fund, the publican may not be in business when you retire so you COULD transfer to your new employer’s pension fund ( if there is one ) but to have greater control over those funds, you would certainly be better off transferring it to a Buy Out Bond (or Personal Retirement Bond – PRB) for these 4 reasons :

  1. The new policy is issued in your name and belongs to you. Your previous employer and the pension Trustees have no further involvement.
  2. You can choose the fund in which your money is invested.
  3. You can choose when you take your benefits – as early as age 50, you COULD take 25% of the fund tax free and invest the rest in an annuity or Approved Retirement Fund (ARF).
  4. Your PRB is invested in a fund that is exempt from tax on its investment income, and capital gains tax, so that you gain from all the growth and income that your fund earns – important therefore to have best advice on that investment decision.

The PRB makes sense.

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