Irish Pension Information

Can I Access my
CWPS Pension?

Want to Access your CWPS Pension at 50? Find out if you can with our FREE Pension Assessment.

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Value of Your Pension

Do you know the approx. value of your pension?

We are here to keep things simple...

Before you access your CWPS pension there are a few things you need to check to maximise the amount you receive and to ensure withdrawing your pension is the best option for you.  

Please note you must not be working for the company you had your pension with. 

 

Pension Rules

First you need to find out the rules which apply to your particular pension scheme.

Financial Planning

Next you need to plan how to withdraw some or all of your fund in the most efficient way .

Invest Remainder

If you want to keep some of your fund to take later in life then you need to invest it in a fund suitable to your individual goals.

Simplify the Process

We can connect you with a Financial Advisor who has experience dealing with CWPS pensions who will do all of the above for you.

Access Your
CWPS Pension
Video Explainer

If you would like more information on the process please check out our video which explains the process step by step.

Getting the Information

Your Advisor will send you a one page form where you will need to complete your name, address and contact details.

You can do this online or by post whichever option is more convenient for you. 

Once your advisor receives the completed form they can then access the details of your pension and present you with all of your options for free.

Your Financial Advisor

We will then recommend an experienced advisor who will guide you through the process step by step.

Our advisors are selected for their “No Bull” attitude. They won’t try to baffle you industry jargon.

Instead when you receive your options you can expect a straight talking common sense approach. This ensures any decision you need to make is easier.

How it Works

You will receive a call from us to find out more about your situation and what you would like to do with your pension. This is just an informal chat. 

CWPS Pension Access FAQ's

You Ask, We Answer

Get the answers to the questions we are asked most often about accessing your pension early. 

If you can’t find the answer to your question call our Free Pension Information Service on 01 255 2553 and a member of our team will be happy to help.

Cashing in your pension at 50 couple placing funds in jar with the word pension on it.

If you are 50 or over and no longer working for the same employer or contributing to the CWPS with another employer then you can access all or some of your pension while continuing to work. 

There is no requirement to stop working while accessing some or all of your pension once the pension your are trying to access is not held with the company you are currently working with.

The only exception to this rule is that you cannot access a PRSA early from 50 while you are working.  You can return to work after you have accessed your PRSA. If you are 60 or over you do not need to be out of work to access a PRSA.

You don’t need a lot of information to access your pension. You simply need to complete a form with your name, date of birth, address and contact details. This can be completed online in a few seconds.

The form acts as a permission slip for your advisor to contact the pension provider and request the details of your pension. Once your advisor receives your pension details they can then put together a list of your options for you.

You can take 25% of your pension fund tax free. You can then invest the remainder of your fund or take it as a taxable lump sum.

Please note in some cases you may be able to access a higher tax free amount. This calculation will be run by your advisor once they have all of the details required. If you can access a higher tax free amount they will let you know when presenting your options. 

You can take 25% of your fund tax free up to a lifetime limit of €200,000.

If you take all your tax free lump sum but still want to take more from your pension then you will pay tax. 

If you are on the higher tax rate you will pay 40% tax on the funds you access over your tax free limit. 

If you are on the standard rate of tax you will pay 20% on the funds you access up to the normal limits. 

Example

Mary has €100k in her pension. Mary takes her tax free lump sum of €25k and has €75k left in the fund. 

Mary wants to take an additional lump sum of €50k from her fund and then invest the remaining 25k.

Mary is on the higher tax rate.

 

Tax Free Lum Sum = €25k

Taxable Lump Sum €50k @ 40% Tax = €30k 

(€20k Taken in Tax)

Amount Invested = €25k

You can lose a substantial amount of your fund if you decide to access the full fund while on the higher tax rate.

This is why many access their tax free lump sum now and then invest the remainder to take in the future when they will pay less tax. 

In retirement you will still pay tax on your pension income. However as you won’t be working, you will be able to take  €40k or less from your pension pot each year at the standard rate of tax. 

Your advisor can help make your decision easier by completing the calculations for you. You can then compare the different options and choose the one most suited to you. 

No, normally there are no penalties for accessing your pension early. 

There are some exceptions to the rule for example when you have transferred your pension into a Personal Retirement Bond and have invested it for a specific period of time.

If you try to access your fund during the investment period normally 5 years there may be a penalty. Your financial advisor will take into account any penalty (and notify you of it) when providing your options to you.

 

Before you decide whether or not you want to access your pension, you first need to get all your options. Once you have these you can then review each one and decide which options suit you.

If you decide that none of the options offered are suitable for you or if you simply change your mind there is no fee whatsoever. Your advisor will simply close the enquiry for you.

If you have instructed your advisor to access your pension but access is not granted for any reason then you will not be charged. 

No, accessing your pension will not affect your access to your contributory state pension. This is because you are entitled to your contributory pension no matter what your earnings or financial means.

If you have not made enough PRSI contributions (stamps) throughout your working life you may wish to apply for the non-contributory state pension. This pension is means tested so you will only receive it if you have no other meaningful income. 

If you plan to apply for the non-contributory state pension (you know that you have not made enough PRSI contributions) sometimes it is in your interest to access your pension early. This is so your non-contributory state pension is not reduced to allow for your pension income in retirement. 

Your Financial Advisor can review your state pension entitlements and will tailor the advice offered to allow you to maximise your entitlements in retirement.

If you decide to access some of your pension for example you only take your 25% Tax Free Lump Sum then in most cases there is no fee

The remaining 75% of your fund is invested for you to take later in life. Your advisor will receive a commission from the investment company (Aviva, Irish Life, Zurich etc.) for putting the investment with them and this normally covers the cost meaning you are not charged.

If you decide to access your full pension there is normally a fee. The fee charged will depend on the amount of work required to allow you to access your pension.

Any fees will be outlined to you in writing prior to your financial advisor commencing work on your case. These fees can be taken from your fund so you do not have to pay these fees upfront. 

You will be required to sign a fee agreement to confirm you are happy to pay any fee due prior to your advisor starting work on accessing your pension for you. This ensures you are aware of the fee due before you start the process. 

It can take approx. 12 to 24 weeks to complete your pension access request. In some cases you may receive your funds sooner but it is best to use this time frame if making plans which require you to have received your funds. 

We know safety is paramount when dealing with your pension. That is why we will only connect you with advisors who meet both of the following criteria.

The Central Bank of Ireland

Your Advisor’s firm will be registered and regulated by the Central Bank. Each authorised firm is provided with a registration number from the Central Bank of Ireland. This number allows you to independently verify that your advisor’s firm is authorised by the Central Bank.

  • The Advisor we connect you with will provide you with their Central Bank Registration Number. You can contact the Central Bank to confirm this number is authentic.
  • They will call you from the phone number listed for their firm on the Central Bank’s website.
 

Brokers Ireland

Many Financial Brokers are members of Brokers Ireland. Brokers Ireland is the representative body for brokers in Ireland. Your advisor’s firm will also be a member of Brokers Ireland. You can also verify this independently by contacting Brokers Ireland.

All the advisors we work with are authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland and are also members of Brokers Ireland.

Can I Access my CWPS Pension?

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