Approaching Retirement

If your retirement is approaching, a new chapter in your life is about to start, marking a reward for all those years of hard work.  It’s a big milestone in your life and one that you should be looking forward to. A lot of things in your life will change - how you spend your day, the different roles and responsibilities that you have and, of course, your finances.  The idea of retiring can take some getting used to but planning ahead should help you get ready for it.  Preparing for this new phase of your life is important to ensure you enjoy it, and the preparation is not just about your pension!

Your finances will make up an essential part of your retirement planning.  The key question is how to replace the income you received while working.  It is highly recommended that, especially during the final 6 years prior to your retirement date, you engage with your Irish Life Advice Team contact to:

  • Carefully consider the different ways you can draw down your pension when you retire, in relation to lump sum, pension and / or Approved Retirement Fund.  (Information on the different ways you can draw down your pension are outlined in the Approaching Retirement Booklet).
  • Review where your pension fund is invested to make sure it matches the way in which you intend to draw down your retirement benefits.  (You can review what funds you are invested in via your Irish Life Member Portal).

You don’t have to worry about what questions to ask your Advice Team point of contact, they will bring you through the whole retirement process and outline the different ways you can access and draw down your pension fund at retirement.  There is no charge for this service.  You can make contact with your Irish Life Advice Team point of contact at any stage of your pension journey to retirement to discuss your pension fund, not just in the immediate years prior to retirement.  You can also seek your own independent financial advice if you wish.

3 months prior to you reaching age 65, the Normal Retirement Age (NRA) for the National Federation of Voluntary Service Providers’ Pension Scheme, you will receive a letter from Irish life seeking the following confirmation:

  • If it is your intention to draw down your pension fund at age 65?
  • If you have any other pension benefits?

If it is your intention to retire at age 65, it is important for you to engage with Irish Life and advise them of your decision, so they can arrange for a detailed Retirement Option Statement to be issued to you.  This statement confirms details in respect of your pension fund i.e., 

  • the possible tax-free cash lump sum payable; and
  • the value of any monies remaining after you take your cash lump sum and how you can draw this remaining amount down.

Again, your Irish Life Advice Team point of contact is available to explain your Retirement Option Statement to you or answer any questions you may have.

Please do not assume when you turn age 65, your pension benefits will automatically be in your bank account, you need to personally select what way you wish to draw down your pension fund at retirement, it is not an automatic process, but Irish Life are there to help you at every step of the way.

 

To also help you with your retirement planning, please view the following links:

Approaching Retirement Video

This video covers:

  • What you can do between now and retirement to possibly increase your pension fund.
  • What way you can draw down your pension fund at retirement to best meet your personal circumstances and requirements.
  • An outline of what are the steps involved to access your pension fund at retirement.

 

 

Approaching Retirement Booklet

This booklet is designed to help you prepare for retirement and includes information on:

  • The different ways you can draw down your pension fund at retirement. 
  • Case studies which show the different ways some people drew down their pension fund at retirement. 
  • Frequently Asked Questions section which outlines some questions members ask as they approach retirement.
  • A checklist of items to think about to see if you are ready for retirement!

 

 

Rewire, Don’t Retire Guide

Irish Life and Active Retirement Ireland have sponsored a useful guide to preparing for retirement called Rewire Don’t Retire.This gives you handy tips on retiring, planning, relationships and positive health amongst other things.

 

 

Irish Life Advice Team Point of Contacts

The Trustees would strongly encourage you to engage with your Irish Life Advice Team point of contact to discuss your retirement options and establish what is the best way for you to draw down your pension fund to suit your personal circumstances.There is no charge for this service.You can also seek your own independent financial advice if you wish.

 

 

Trustees Summary Document on how a Pension Scheme Member can draw down their Pension Fund at Retirement.

As your retirement date approaches it is important for you to fully understand the different ways you can draw down your pension fund at retirement and ensure you make the right decision based on your own particular circumstances.  This summary document also outlines how your retirement claim will be handled from start to finish.

 

 

 

What documentation / information you need to collate

To help you organise and know what documentation / information you will be required to submit to Irish Life to process your retirement claim, please read here.

 

 

Advantages and Disadvantages of an Annuity and Annual Retirement Fund (ARF)

Compare what an Annuity and Annual Retirement Fund is and the advantages and disadvantages of each retirement option.

 

Monthly Budgeting Sheet 

The Budgeting Sheet allows you to fill in your monthly income and bills to keep track of your finances and establish how much you will need in your retirement.

 

 

Can I work beyond Age 65 and what is the Implications on my Pension Fund?

In some instances employers are facilitating members of the pension scheme working beyond age 65, which is a decision each employer has discretion on at local level.  However, if a member is working beyond age 65, this document is important to read regarding the cessation of employer and employee pension contributions into the Pension Scheme and also the cessation of the member’s life cover at age 65 years.  However, this document also outlines in what circumstances can a member continue to pay AVCs while working for an employer in the National Federation's Pension & Life Assurance Scheme.

 

Why You Need to Ensure your Salary Figure Held by Irish Life is Up to date?

This document has been prepared to inform and outline to you:

  • How you can find out what salary information Irish Life hold for you and where they get this data.
  • How your salary figure is used when investing your pension fund, especially in the six years prior to your retirement date and therefore, why it is important to ensure Irish Life have the right salary information on file for you.
  • If you reduce your hours of work and therefore your salary, in the 10 years prior to your retirement, why you should engage with Irish Life.
  • How to update your salary information and what documentation you will be required to provide to Irish Life.

 

Timeframe Involved for Drawing Down your Pension Fund at Retirement

Please do not assume that when you turn age 65 i.e., Normal Retirement Age (NRA), your pension benefits will automatically be in your bank account.   Once you confirm your intention to retire at age 65, you will receive your retirement options from Irish Life, following which you will need to actively select what way you wish to draw down your pension fund at retirement i.e., it is not an automatic process.  This document is a summary of the retirement handling process you will go through when drawing down your pension fund from the National Federation’s Pension Scheme and the approximate timescales involved.

 

Retirement Planning Seminars

The Pension Trustees of the National Federation of Voluntary Service Providers Pension & Life Assurance Scheme, in association with Irish Life, organise Retirement Planning Seminars every year to support and provide valuable information to members of our Pension Scheme as they approach retirement.  The seminar is a full day event and topics covered on the day include:

  • the mental adjustments of retirement;
  • state benefits in retirement;
  • your organisation’s pension scheme and how to draw down your pension benefits at retirement;
  • Wills and inheritance;
  • Physical & nutritional wellbeing. 

 

These Seminars are aimed at members of our Pension Scheme who are nearing retirement age over the next five years.  An invitation to the member’s spouse / partner to attend the Seminar is also extended.  There is no charge for members and their partners to attend.  A member doesn’t have to be about to retire to start planning for it, in fact, the sooner a member understands their retirement options, the more relaxed they'll feel about the whole process and hopefully be better placed to make the right decisions about this important phase in their life. 

 

Dates and venues for 2024 Retirement Planning Seminars are as follows:

First Retirement Planning Seminar Date & Venue:

Venue:            Ashling Hotel, 10-12 Parkgate Street, Dublin 8 (across from Heuston Station)

Date:               Tuesday, 14th May, 2024

Time:               9.45am – 4pm

 

Second Retirement Planning Seminar Date & Venue:

Venue:            Tullamore Court Hotel, Co. Offaly.

Date:               Thursday, 13th June, 2024

Time:               9.45am – 4pm

 

Employers have been requested to issue an invitation to any member of the Pension Scheme who is due to retire within the next 5 years to attend one of the above Retirement Planning Seminars.  If you wish to attend, please contact your pension administrator in your organisation as all bookings have to be made via your employer.

 

Online Event - Countdown to Retirement - 6th December, 2023

Irish Life hosted 2 online webinars entitled “Countdown to Retirement” on 6th December, 2023.  This Countdown to Retirement webinar was aimed at any age group, but was especially beneficial to members over age 50.  The webinar addressed the topics members need to consider as part of their countdown to retirement, including:

  • How tax relief works.
  • Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs).
  • The Scheme’s Default Personal Lifestyle Strategy and the Scheme’s other investment fund options.
  • How to register and utilise the tools within your online Member Portal.
  • Signpost to other great supports available to Scheme members e.g. engagement with Advice Team and National Federation’s website.

A recording of the Countdown to Retirement Webinar is now available to view here

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  • Phone: +353 91 792316
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  • Email: info@fedvol.ie
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