Should I Take A Transfer From My Defined Benefit Pension In Ireland?


A Defined Benefit Pension is generally regarded as the “Gold standard” among pension schemes but with many pension schemes now unable to meet their Regulator’s funding standards ex- employees are now seriously considering their options.

So should you remain or should you leave?

Patrick Hosking financial journalist with the Times said that the Pensions Regulator believes that 80,000 transfers were made out of Defined Benefit Pensions Schemes to March 2017 and argues a strong case for a transfer of certain Pension schemes. (Times 3 Oct 2017)

This argument for taking a transfer value has been ignited in Ireland following a decision by the Irish Revenue Commissions to permit the transfer of Irish pension plans to pension providers in other European countries following a successful High Court application by Dublin based tax accountant, Mr. Michael O’ Sullivan ( O’ Sullivan Vs Canada Life case no 6355P )

Mr. O’ Sullivan transferred his Irish Pension to a Personal Pension managed by a Malta Pension trust company. The rules in Malta allow pension holders to retire from age 50 and withdraw a 30% lump sum from their pension fund tax free in Ireland up to 200,000 euro.

Transfer values are increasing

Transfer values have increased over the last twenty four months particularly because of the low interest environment. This means that Final Salary pension schemes which are forced to invest primarily in Bonds have seen their yields drop dramatically, because of these low interest rates and this now means that it costs more to compensate someone who is moving out.

According to Holly Thomas from the Daily Mail “more than 200,000 U.K savers are planning to cash in their final salary pensions this year. (27 June 2017)

The question is: should you join them?

Here at International Pension Transfer Consultants we have seen a substantial increase in the number of ex – employees transferring their pension into their own name. Motivated by the change by government to the freedom of pension options now available, our clients take personal ownership of their funds for different reasons which mirror in most cases those detailed in a joint policy paper delivered by Sir Steve Webb of Royal London insurance and Johnathon Camfield LCP on the 30 August 2017.

Main reasons clients give for wanting to transfer:

  • Flexible income in retirement
  • Large transfer value available
  • Inheritance considerations
  • Access to greater tax free cash
  • To take benefits earlier then DB scheme allows
  • Possible scheme windup
  • Underfunded pension schemes

So stick or twist?

To find out what you would receive from your previous employer’s Pension Scheme is pretty straight forward. A Consultant from International Pension Transfer Consultants can write to the pension’s administrator on your behalf to find out what your options are. A meeting can be arranged after that to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a transfer from the scheme into you own name. Contact us and we can help.

Get in touch today. Find out if you are eligible to cash in your pension.

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