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Pensions FAQ

General Information

Is this my own Individual Retirement Account?

Yes, an individual retirement account is set up for each member and contributions are credited to this account.

How can I make my contributions?

Contributions may be made directly to CIRT by cheque or electronic fund transfer.  Alternatively, you may arrange a standing order payment on a monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annual basis, click here for a Standing Order Form.

Must the level of contributions remain fixed?

No you are free to contribute each year any amount that you decide, subject to a minimum contribution of €50 per month.  The amount that you contribute to your individual retirement account, together with investment returns for the period, will determine the options available to you at retirement.

How will I know what my retirement account is worth?

You will receive an annual statement, which shows the accumulated value of your individual retirement account or you can contact the Administration Team at any time for an up to date valuation.

How is the management of CIRT’s investment funds handled?

The investment funds of CIRT are held completely separate from the other pension arrangements operated by CPAS.  The Trustee select and regularly review the fund manager(s) who manage the assets in CIRT.

What happens if I die before reaching age 60? 

In the event of your death, before claiming retirement benefits from CIRT, your total accumulated individual retirement account will become payable to your beneficiaries. Under the Trust, the Trustee have absolute discretion as to whom a Death Benefit is payable.  You may if you wish, fill out a Nomination Form to assist the Trustee in exercising this discretion. The Nomination Form would not however be binding on the Trustee. Click here to download the Expression of Wish Form

Can I receive a refund of contributions? 

No, under current legislation a refund of member contributions cannot be made under any circumstances. If you cease to be eligible for membership you must immediately stop making contributions to CIRT. The amount previously contributed, will continue to accumulate with full investment returns within your individual retirement account until you opt for retirement benefits on or after age 60, or earlier on the grounds of ill health. 

Can I transfer any other pension savings into CIRT?

Yes, subject to the approval of the Revenue Commissioners the Trustee can accept transfers from any existing eligible pension arrangements you may have. 

Can I transfer my retirement account to another pension provider? 

Yes, before your retirement and subject to the approval of the Revenue Commissioners, you may transfer the value of your individual retirement account to another similarly approved Retirement Annuity Contract (RAC) or to a Personal Retirement Savings Account (PRSA). 

Will I be able to take out a loan against your retirement account? 

No, you, or any other party, will not able to take out a loan against the value of your individual retirement account under any circumstances. 

Tax Considerations

Will I get tax relief on my contributions?

CIRT is approved by the Revenue Commissioners.  As a result, you will obtain worthwhile tax relief on your contributions.  Your total contributions will be taken into account for tax purposes.  Tax relief is subject to limits based on your age and your Net Relevant Earnings.  The following table outlines the current maximum contributions on which tax relief may be obtained:

Age

Tax relief limit expressed as a % of Net Relevant Earnings

up to 29 15%
from 30 to 39 20%
from 40 to 49 25%
from 50 to 54 30%
from 55 to 59 35%
age 60 and over 40%

Note:  The maximum Net Relevant Earnings that can be taken into account in any single tax year is currently limited to €115,000.

Tax relief on your contributions

At present, earnings are taxed in two bands.  Full tax relief is allowed, at your marginal rate of tax, on your contributions to CIRT.  Therefore, for each €100 contribution you make, the actual net cost for you is as follows:

Tax RateActual cost (net of tax) per €100 contributionTax Saving
20% €80 €20
40% €60 €40

Retirement Benefits

When can I retire?

You can draw down your retirement benefits at any time between age 60 and 70.  It is not necessary for you to retire from your employment in order to do so – there is no connection between the date you retire from employment and the date you decide to draw down your retirement benefits from CIRT.

What are my retirement options? 

Please contact us to discuss your options at retirement.  In general there are a number of options available:

  1. An annuity, or pension, which is a guaranteed income for the rest of your life. The amount of income you receive will primarily be based on the size of your individual retirement account
  2. There are a variety of annuities available, for example:
    • Choice of guaranteed periods
    • Level or increasing payment options
    • With or without spouses pension
    You may be liable to pay income tax on income from an annuity.
    Please Note:  The amount of your annuity will depend on your age, the level of interest rates and the total accumulated fund in your retirement account at the time of your retirement.
  3. A tax free lump sum and a reduced annuity.  At present under the current revenue benefit legislation the maximum tax free lump sum is 25% of your total retirement account(s) to an overall maximum of €200,000.  Lump sums between €200,000 and €500,000 will be taxed at the basic rate (currently 20%) and lump sums in excess of €500,000 will be taxed at an individual’s marginal rates.
  4. A tax free lump sum and ARF/AMRF option.  This option allows you to invest the balance of your retirement account(s) into an Approved Retirement Fund (ARF)/Approved Minimum Retirement Fund (AMRF).  ARFs and AMRFs are retirement vehicles managed by Qualifying Fund Managers in which you can invest the proceeds of your retirement account when you elect to retire. This retirement option will allow you to keep flexibility and control over your retirement fund.  For further information in relation to ARFs/AMRFs please click here.
  5. A tax free lump sum and a taxable lump sum.  This option is only available under certain circumstances and will be outlined at retirement if applicable.

How will I arrange an Annuity or ARF/ AMRF? 

In order to set up an Annuity or ARF/AMRF, you will need to obtain independent financial advice. The CIRT Trustee preferred Independent Financial Adviser is Milestone Advisory DAC. You can contact Milestone Advisory DAC or your own Independent Financial Adviser to assist you when considering your retirement options. You can contact Milestone Advisory DAC at Canal House, Canal Road, Dublin 6, at info@milestoneadvisory.ie or call them on 01 4068020. Their website is www.milestoneadvisory.ie

Am I also eligible for the State Pension?  

The amount of State Pension you will receive (if any) will depend on your history of PRSI contributions.  The State Old Age Contributory Pension is currently payable from age 66. This will increase to age 67 with effect from 01/01/2021, finally increasing to age 68 with effect from 01/01/2028. If you are entitled to this State pension, it will be payable in addition to your pension benefits available from CIRT.  

What happens if I retire due to ill health?  

In the event of a permanent breakdown in your health prior to age 60, an immediate pension becomes payable (subject to receipt of adequate medical evidence). The pension amount will depend on your age and on the value of your individual retirement account at the time. 

Can I choose how my contributions are invested? 

You have investment choices available within CIRT, click here for further information. 

Can I view the Schemes’ Annual Accounts?

Yes, each year the Trustee arranges for the Scheme’s accounts to be audited. You may request a copy of the Trustee Annual Report, which includes a copy of the audited accounts.