PRSA or personal retirement savings account is a long-term personal pension plan that can let you save for retirement in a flexible way. Most people can get a PRSA, but it’s especially useful for people with no pension provision.

How does a PRSA work?

A PRSA is a contract between you and an approved PRSA provider. Your contributions are invested by the provider in a number of funds. It’s like an investment account that you use to save for your retirement. Standard PRSAs have restrictions on the types of funds they invest in, and invest in pooled funds.

Risks of PRSA (personal retirement savings account)?

A PRSA isn’t risk free, or backed by a Government guarantee. Like other personal pensions, a PRSA is an investment account that provides for an individual’s retirement.This means the value of a PRSA can increase or decrease, depending on the performance of the PRSA’s investment funds.

Who pays for PRSA?

As the PRSA owner, you do. Your employer may agree to contribute, but they don’t have to. You can also benefit from Tax Reliefs on your contributions.

What type of person should get a PRSA?

  • Looking for a longterm investment
  • Have at least €300.00 per a year to invest.
  • Don’t need to access your investment until you retire.
  • Like the mix of funds you can access.
  • Are comfortable with the level of risk.
  • For someone setting up their own pension (self-employed / freelancers / divorced / separated / single income families).

Benefits of PRSA

  • Save on income tax using pension tax reliefs.
  • Flexible contributions. You can increase/decrease/stop your contributions as you see fit, without incurring any charges or penalties.
  • Charges are capped for Standard PRSAs.
  •  Portable accounts mean you can move your PRSA from job to job or transfer to another provider without charge or penalty.
  • Keep contributing, even after retirement. You can still top up your pension (and benefit from tax reliefs) even if you are accessing it.
  • See more about PRSAs from the pension authority’s booklet here.

Risks of PRSA

  • Investments can fall as well as rise. Remember you are buying an investment product. Make sure you are comfortable with the level of risk of your funds.
  • No government guarantee. Make sure you are with a reputable provider.
  • Fees & charges on your PRSA may restrict the growth of your fund. Check these charges before you choose a PRSA provider.
  • Standard PRSAs have a limited selection of investment funds, compared to Personal Pensions & Non-Standard PRSAs.

About Debbie Cheevers

Debbie qualified as APA in 2017 and a fully qualified financial advisor (QFA) in 2018. She believes that product knowledge is key to helping customers make the right choices.

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You’re the best person to plan for your retirement, and right now is a great time to start. Pension contributions start from as little as €25 per month.

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