The ARF is a post-retirement investment vehicle. Subject to Revenue’s minimum distribution rules, the ARF leaves it up to you to decide whether, or how much, you wish to draw from your retirement fund. It gives you complete freedom as to where you wish your retirement funds to be invested. It usually allows for the investments in your pension scheme to be brought into retirement with you.
The ARF lets you place some, or all, of your pension fund value, depending on your preference, in a wide range of investments. These could be a deposit account, a share portfolio with a stockbroking house, a tenanted property, an investment in a managed fund with a life company, a tracker bond or a combination of any or all of these. You are then free to draw a regular income from the fund if you so choose.
Who can set up an ARF?
The following pension investors may avail of the ARF option at retirement:
- Personal Pension Plan investors (investors who have a pension policy with a life company);
- Personal Retirement Savings Account (PRSA) investors;
- Members of Small Self-Administered Schemes;
- Members of employer-sponsored pension schemes who have made Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC);
- Members of employer-sponsored Defined Contribution pension schemes, subject to the terms of the scheme; and
- Holders of Buy Out Bonds
What is an Approved Minimum Retirement Fund (AMRF)?
An Approved Minimum Retirement Fund (AMRF) is a separate fund carved out from the ARF for people below the age of 75 who:
- do not have an annual pension income of at least €12,700; or
- do not hold funds in an AMRF already; or
- have not invested the AMRF amount of €63,500 in an annuity.
For all intents and purposes, the operation of the AMRF is similar to that of the ARF in that the funds can be invested in any number of ways, subject to Revenue rules. The main restriction in relation to an AMRF is the drawing down of benefits. Up to 4% of the value of the AMRF can be accessed annually. If, before reaching the age of 75 years, you have specified income of €12,700 for example, your AMRF becomes an ARF.
What are the Benefits to an ARF?
- you have access to a wide variety of investment options and providers;
- you can invest your funds in investments that fit your risk appetite;
- your investments grow free of both income tax and capital gains tax;
- on death, your Harvest Advisory ARF can pass to your estate.
Want to find out more?
Contact us for advice on whether an ARF is the right option for you or to set up a meeting with one of our advisors where we can look at your overall retirement structure and ensure that all your pension funding is working for you to reach your desired retirement.
The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate Tax Advice, Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme, Estate Planning.
The value of investments and the income derived from them can fall as well as rise. You may not get back what you invest.
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