If you are
self-employed, it is up to you to make your own
provisions for retirement. Many people will consider the growing value in their business as their
pension, but it may not be wise to put all your eggs in one basket. Many businesses will face challenges between now and their owners’ retirement. There are many tax-efficient ways to build a nest-egg that is protected from the vagaries of self-employment. Regardless of whether you are a sole trader, a partnership or a limited company, we can set up arrangements that will not only be Tax-Efficient, but can also give you the best options and the most flexibility as you approach your
Personal pensions/PRSAsWhere your employer does not offer or
make contributions to a pensionon your behalf, you will need to make your own arrangements. Subject to certain conditions, you are entitled to get tax relief at your highest rate on your payments into a pension. When we set up a pension or
Personal Retirement Savings Account (PRSA)for you, we will show you how to get your
tax reliefat source, which is better for your cash flow than reclaiming your tax at the end of the year.
Company pension schemes
Executive PensionThis is a pension that is used primarily for directors and senior executives of your firm. There is great flexibility in relation to how much you can contribute tax free, and also in relation to how you can claim your benefits at retirement age.
If you are a member of a
company pension scheme, you may find that you will not be entitled to a sufficient pension at retirement age to sustain the lifestyle you had hoped. This may be because you have not been a member of the scheme for long enough, or because of a leave of absence, or because you simply have not paid enough in.
In this case, you are allowed to make
Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)to top up your pension. You can do this by making additional payments into your
company pension scheme, or by setting up a separate plan. There are advantages and disadvantages to both types so please feel free to have a chat with us about what is best for you.
Group Pension/PRSAThis is the format we will consider where a company has more than 10 members who wish to contribute to a pension scheme. The company will deduct contributions from the employees’ wages and make the contributions on their behalf. Talk to us about setting up a
group pension scheme.
Annuities and ARFsIf you have your own pension scheme, once you reach retirement age, you will have an option to take your tax-free lump sum and use the balance to provide a pension for your retirement. What you do with the balance is an important decision, not to be taken lightly. You will have to choose between an
Annuity or an Approved Retirement Fund (ARF). We strongly recommend you take independent advice prior to making this choice.
We have numerous clients, both employees and the self-employed, who are knowledgeable enough to invest their pension funds themselves. Within certain guidelines, there are a number of asset classes that pension funds can be invested in. By far the most popular of these is property.
If you have a
pension fundalready built up with a normal pension provider, it may be possible for you to use these funds to purchase one or more properties, either residential or commercial. Terms and conditions will apply of course, but with bargains to be had in certain property sectors, this is an option you may want to consider. Please call us for more information.
Consolidating PensionsThe days of working for the same employer for your whole working life are no more. We are finding it is more common for a person to change employers every few years. If this is you, and you were a member of the
company pension schemewith each employer, you should talk to us about
consolidating your pensions.
Deferred PensionsIf you have one or more paid-up or
deferred pension, you will have a number of options. Aside from leaving it where it is, you may have the choice to bring it to your current employer or to put it into an account in your own name, which is called a
buy-out bond. It is always worth doing an analysis of what is the best option for you.
Pension tracing and winding-up
Clevermoney also offers
pension tracing and winding-up services. Many people have left pensions with their former employers and have no information on their benefits. We have successfully investigated numerous cases.
Where a company is in liquidation or receivership, we will wind up the pension in co-operation with the receiver or liquidator, and ensure that all employees have their benefits protected