Irish Pension Information

Review My
Pension

Ensure your Pension is working as hard as you are

by regularly checking its performance. 

Small tweaks to your pension over time can make

a huge difference to your overall fund at retirement. 

Pension Review

What is a
Pension Review?

A Pension review is the process of looking at your existing pension/s and checking whether you can access a better deal with another supplier. First, your advisor will look at performance and then charges. Your advisor will also discuss your retirement goals with you to ensure you are on track to reach them.

 

Pension Charges

Explained

Pension charges are normally hidden in plain sight. If you look for them, it is easy to find out how much you are being charged by your provider.

If you don’t look for them you may have no idea how much you are being charged. This is because your pension charges are taken directly from your fund which means you don’t receive a bill as you would for other things such as your electricity.

As you don’t have to make a conscious effort to pay your pension charges its easy for these to slip under your radar. When you combine your pension charges with your pension performance you can be making a loss even when the performance of your fund is positive.

Pension Review FAQ's

You Ask, We Answer

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

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.

This question is a little trickier than it seems at first. Some might say well my pension is making money so the fund is performing well but this isn’t always the case. 

To know whether your fund is performing well you should compare it to other similar funds. If you fund is making 2% but another similar fund has made 10% then its fair to say there is room for improvement for you. 

The best way to analyse your funds performance is to compare it to others. This gives you real insight as to how your fund managers are doing and whether or not moving your fund may be a good decision. 

During a pension review your advisor will compare your pension performance against other similar funds. This allows them to give you a much better understanding of your funds performance.  

If you know your fund is losing money then you should have your pension reviewed straight away. 

This ensures you can plug the hole on any further losses if required. 

If it is due to a general market downturn your advisor will be able to put your mind at ease that other funds are performing similarly and that when the market improves your fund should recover quickly. 

Its important to note that this is not always the case so if your fund is losing money or growth seems to have slowed or stopped don’t delay! Get your pension reviewed ASAP. 

Getting the review does not mean you are obliged to make changes. You simply get the information which means you can make an informed decision going forward.

There are three types of charges which can be applied to funds you are putting into your pension. 

These are 

  • Contribution Charge
  • Allocation Rate
  • Non-Allocation Period

 

We look at each in more detail below. 

Contribution Charge

This is a charge applied to your pension when you put money in  or “contribute” to your pension fund. A contribution charge is normally a percentage.

 

Example Contribution Charge

Your pension fund has a contribution charge of 3%. Each time you put €100 into your pension only €97 goes into your fund as €3 (3%) is taken as a contribution charge.

In some instances your contribution charge may change depending on how much you put into your pension. Normally the more you are putting in the less your contribution charge will be.

Allocation Rate

An allocation rate charge is the same as a contribution charge it is just expressed in a different way. For instance your fund could have a 97% allocation rate. Each time funds are allocated to your pension only 97% of those funds are put in. The rest is taken as an allocation charge.

 

Example Allocation Rate

You put €100 into your pension. Your pension provider allocates or puts €97 into your fund. The remaining €3 is taken as a charge.

You may also have a positive allocation rate. For example an allocation rate of 103% In this instance for every €100 you put in your pension provider puts €103 into your pension. A positive allocation rate over 100% is  a bonus each time you put money into your pension.

Non Allocation Period

A non allocation period is a period of time for example 3 months where the full amount you put into your pension is taken as a charge.

 

Example Non Allocation Period

You put €100 into your pension each month but you have a non allocation period of 3 months. After 3 months the balance of your pension will be nil as the 3 deposits of €100 will have been taken in charges. On the 4th month you put in €100 that €100 will go into your pension fund as your non allocation period has ended.

Ongoing Pension charges are charges applied to your pension on a continuous basis.

These fees are to cover the cost of managing your fund. If your fund is performing well and your pension charges are easily covered then they should not be an issue for you.

You should expect to pay for good fund management  and results. However these charges should be somewhat proportional to performance over time.

Where charges are dramatically reducing the the value of your pension for example by offsetting growth its time to consider your options.

Your advisor will review all charges during your review and suggest other alternatives which you can consider.

The two most common ongoing charges are 

  • Annual Management Charge or AMC
  • Policy Fee

 

We look at these in more detail below.

Annual Management Charge

This is a charge applied to your pension fund annually. It is usually a percentage such as 1%. Each calendar year 1% of your fund is taken as a charge.

 

Example Annual Management Charge

You have €100,000 in your pension. At the end of the year an annual management charge of 1% is applied. €1,000 (1%) of your fund is taken as a charge by the provider.

An Annual Management Charge may also be known as an Annual Fund Charge of AFC.

Policy Fee

Some Retirement Annuity Contracts may have a policy fee. This fee is normally taken monthly.

 

Example Policy Fee

You have a €3 monthly fee. Each month your provider takes €3 from your pension balance to cover the policy fee.

Your advisor will ask you to complete a letter of authority. This is a one page form which you complete with you name, contact details and a signature.

Your advisor can then contact your pension provider with this form and request the details of your pension/s. They can do this because the company your advisor works with is a regulated financial services provider with the Central Bank of Ireland. 

You can provide general information to your advisor such as your retirement goals so your advisor can let you know if you are on track to reach them. 

If not they will be able to offer further insight on how you might go about achieving them.

No there are no fees for the Pension Review.  You will simply receive a list of pension options open to you from your advisor. 

If you choose to proceed with an option there may be a fee. In some cases where you are changing investments the investment companies such as Aviva, Zurich, Royal London etc. pay the advisor a commission. Its important to note you still get access to the same deals as everyone else. In many of these cases there is no fee. 

In other cases where the investment is small or more complex work is required there may be a fee. 

If there is a fee this will be outlined on your list of options so you can take this into consideration while reviewing your options.

There is no obligation to proceed with any option offered so you might receive your options and decide you would prefer to leave your pension where it is. In these cases just let your advisor know and they will close down your review. 

Unless you decide to proceed with one of the options suggested to you there will never be a fee for the information provided during the review. 

Yes, but the key factor here is to do it in such a way that provides you with the most benefit. 

If you are considering increasing your contributions let your advisor know and they will review your options and provide a recommendation on the most beneficial way to do this for your individual circumstance. 

It can take approx. 4-8 weeks for your advisor to complete your review. This is due to the turnaround time on receiving information from the pension provider. 

Your advisor will try to complete the review for you as quickly as possible especially if your fund is performing poorly.

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.

Our Advisors Offer

Free Pension Reviews

1

complete the Pension Review Assessment

When you complete our online assessment we will review the details to get a better understanding of what you need,

2

We'll connect you with the right advisor

We will connect you with an experienced advisor who will review your pension in detail and present you with all the options open to you for FREE

3

Decide whether or not you need to make changes

Once you have all your options you can then decide whether or not you should make changes. 

Our happy clients

We’ve helped thousands of people with their pension

John

Age 60

5/5

“The first person I spoke to who actually made sense of pensions for me. No jargon or big words just the information I needed.”

Bernadette

Age 51

5/5

“I wanted to access my pension because my mortgage payment had gone up and then gone up again. I accessed my pension and paid off the mortgage.

Ronan

Age 54

5/5

“I thought getting the pension out would be full of grief. I signed a few forms, the advisor did the rest and the money arrived in my bank account. Brilliant!”

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