In order to get the most from your Irish pension plan it is important that certain considerations are taken into account on a regular basis. This article provides readers with advice as to the best way of achieving this.

It is important to monitor your pension in order to establish how well it is performing, and to make modifications if necessary.

The following is a list of questions that should be asked when choosing to start a pension:

– What type of pension plan will best suit my needs?

– How much do I need to save in order to retire?

– How will I proceed in order to meet the income target (i.e. timescale/contribution requirements)?

– What can I expect in terms of my pension plans associated charges (i.e. are there regular annual fees? Or, one- off set- up charges?

– Do the contribution amounts increase with inflation? Do any charges apply here?

– How much direction does the policy holder have over the investment of funds?

– Does the pension provider allow for transfers between funds and are there charges applicable to this process?

– What is the speculated future value of the pension policy, assuming a steady rate growth per year?

– What happens if the policy holder is unable to work, or dies?

– What degree of flexibility does the pension policy have? Are there contributions holidays available on the policy?

– Can contribution amounts be modified during the course of the policy?

You should try to start a pension policy as early as possible. The earlier a pension plan is started, the greater the likelihood of building a significant nest egg, this means that as the policy increases in value, the lower the amount of contributions you will have to make in order to ensure a successful retirement.

– Make sure that you make regular checks on your pension to ensure that it is performing to its full potential. If you do not already receive them, make sure that your pension provider sends you regular valuations pertaining to your policy.

– Find out as much information as you can prior to commencing a pension policy. For example, ask providers for a list of associated charges.

– If you do not understand anything about your policy, be sure to discuss the issue either with your pension provider, or with an independent financial advisor.

– Never assume that your pension policy is on track to fulfilling your retirement needs, make regular reviews and increase your contributions if it is financially viable to do so.

– Never be intimidated by financial jargon, ask questions about any features of your policy that you do not understand in order to make the best possible decisions regarding your future financial security.

– When planning for your future make sure that you account for any previous pensions you may have held, such as occupational pensions that you no longer contribute to. In order to find out the value of any previously held pensions, contact the pension administrator. Then once you have a rough estimate of its value, ask whether you are able to transfer the funds into a new pension scheme.

– Remember that you may qualify for the state pension, in order to find out, contact the Department of Social and Family Affairs.

How to keep track of your pension:

When purchasing a pension plan it is vitally important to ensure the suitability of the scheme, however, the work does not end at the point of purchase. Just as important as choosing the right policy in the first place, is the continuous monitoring of the policy once it is in place. Regular reviews serve to help you to establish how well your pension is working for you.

This article is based on the author’s own observations and research and is not associated with any 3rd party organisations.