Ten reasons to start a pension now!!

Most people switch off and don’t think about how their pension is performing. More than half have no idea where their funds are invested, while 55% were found to be in the dark on the tax benefits for pension savers.

New research commissioned by Aviva has revealed a stark disconnect amongst adults in Ireland when it comes to pension planning. The research, based on a representative sample of 2,000 adults, found that only 34% of them had a private pension.

Furthermore, two-in-five of them admitted to having no idea how much their pension fund is worth.

More than half have no idea where their funds are invested, while 55% were found to be in the dark on the tax benefits for pensions savers.

With the sound of the pension ‘time-bomb’ ticking away against the backdrop of Ireland’s aging population, Aviva’s research has highlighted the need for a significant cultural shift when it comes to retirement planning, to offset the future likelihood of pension poverty.

1. We’re all living longer

Thanks to healthier lifestyles, plus advances in medical treatments, people are living much longer these days. So, to make sure your money doesn’t run out, you’ll need to build a bigger pension fund.

2. Could you survive on the State pension alone?

At approx €243.00 per week, your State pension may not be sufficient. So, unless you have an additional income when you retire, you may not have enough money for your retirement needs.

3. The taxman will give you a helping hand

For every euro you pay into your plan, the taxman will currently give you 20 cents back, so it only costs you 80 cents.

If you’re a higher rate taxpayer, it’s an even better deal as you’ll currently get 40 cents back, so each euro you pay into your plan will only cost you 60 cents.

These amounts are based on income tax rates of 20% and 40% (as of March 2019).

4. Your payments can grow tax-free

The money in your pension plan can currently grow tax-free – so it should have the potential to grow faster than in other types of savings plans that are subject to tax.

5. Delay costs money

Providing yourself with the retirement income you’ll need means building up money in your pension fund. But, the longer you wait before starting your plan, the larger the payments you’ll need to pay.

6. Potentially benefit from the ‘downs’ as well as the ‘ups’

Your regular contributions can benefit from periods of stock market volatility – particularly in the early years.

When investment values are low, you can buy more units with your contribution than you could have when unit prices were higher.

If the market subsequently recovers, then all these units can benefit from this recovery – making stock market volatility work in your favour.

7. If you move jobs, you can take your plan with you

If you change jobs, you can take your pension plan with you.

8. How else can you provide for your old age?

Any money paid into a pension plan may be eligible for tax relief. No other form of saving qualifies for this benefit. A pension plan really is the most tax efficient way to save for your old age.

9. It’s never too late

Even if you’re approaching retirement, it may still be worth paying money into a pension plan, as you’ll be setting aside something for the future.

10. You can draw a tax-free cash sum at retirement

When you retire, you can currently take part of your pension fund as a tax-free lump sum (subject to a lifetime limit of €200,000). This can enable you to do those things you’ve always promised yourself.

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