independent

Saturday 18 November 2017

AMRF allows you to retain ownership for your pension monies, but has disadvantages in terms of access

Business Q&A

A An AMRF is an Approved Minimum Retirement Fund. It is commonly used for those who decline the option of using their retirement fund to purchase an Annuity - an income for life, and where the option of an ARF (Approved Retirement Fund) is not allowed under Revenue rules.

Whilst an AMRF allows you to retain ownership for your pension monies, there is a limit to the amount you can withdraw from your AMRF before the age of 75. You can only withdraw a maximum of 4% per annum from the AMRF.

The AMRF minimum amount is currently set at €63,500 down from €119,800 in recent years. A broad outline of the Revenue rules that must be satisfied in order not too have to enter into an AMRF are:

1. You must have a minimum guaranteed income for life, currently set at €12,700 per annum, or:

2. You must already have previously invested a certain minimum amount from the proceeds of another Pension or current Pension in an AMRF (Approved Minimum Retirement Fund)

A simple example of the above rules in operation is set out below:

Male aged 67 with a guaranteed income of €11,000 per annum, who declines an Annuity option available to him with his Personal Pension and who does not currently have an AMRF in existence:

Pension Fund of: €80,000

Tax Free Cash Available of 25%: €20,000

Balance remaining in the Pension Fund after

taking tax free cash: €60,000

Invest in an AMRF as Revenue Rules not exceeded: €60,000

So, now that I have placed the balance of my Pension Fund in an AMRF, how is my money invested and what are the taxation implications on any withdrawals I make from the AMRF?

Monies in your AMRF can be invested in a wide range of asset classes, depending on the level of risk and volatility you are prepared to accept. This can range from simple cash / deposit based AMRF options, offering very poor returns of circa 0.2% per annum at present or, at the opposite end of the spectrum, investing in property, bonds and the stock market.

Any withdrawals you take from your AMRF are assessable for Income Tax, PRSI and USC. There is a limit to the amount you can withdraw from your AMRF before the age of 75. You can only withdraw 4% of the fund value each year.

If we take the above example of the €60,000 AMRF, this equates to investment growth that can be taken from the AMRF of €2,400 per annum to age 75.

The AMRF route has obvious disadvantages in terms of access. It does however offer the opportunity of retaining ownership of your monies in retirement and also the opportunity of leaving these funds to your estate in the event of your untimely death.

For more information on pensions and investments, please contact Michael Coburn on 053 9170507 or email mcoburn@rda.ie

My Personal Pension has recently matured and I have been told I must, after taking my tax free cash, invest in an AMRF. Can you clarify this for me?

Wexford People

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