If you’re here, it’s likely that, just like many others, you are concerned about the impact of your pension if and when you part ways with your job. Maybe it has already happened and now you need more info on how to effectively plan for retirement.

Have you ever wondered how your pension plan is affected when you leave a job? We get asked this question often, and it’s an important one to answer.

As the current state of our world progresses, people are taking on new jobs or even transitioning their career paths more frequently than in times past. This means that many individuals are leaving Pension savings behind with previous employers. It is imperative to consider all aspects – including your Pension! – when making a move from one job to another

When you are departing a job in County Limerick, it is essential to consider your long-term retirement objectives before making any rash decisions about pension plans. Even though abandoning your pension might appear like the simplest solution, this could have an unfavorable effect on Retirement Planning if it isn’t incorporated into an all-inclusive plan. 

Deciding which pension plan is right for you depends on whether it’s a Defined Contribution (DC) or a Defined Benefits (DB). If you are employed by private companies, the majority of the time your pension plan will be DC. On the other hand, if you work in civil and public services then DB plans are more frequent. The options open to you hinge upon which type of retirement fund that was chosen for you!

Leaving Service Options: Defined Contribution Pension

As soon as you finish your employment, it is essential to understand that trustees of the scheme hold and manage all pension benefits legally. Therefore, when you depart from the company, your legal status will transition from an ‘Active’ member to a ‘Deferred’ one. We will explore what remaining in the ‘Deferred’ category entails shortly.

When you leave work, make sure that you receive both documents, known as the ‘Leaving Service Options Letter’ and the ‘Pension Benefits Options Statement’. These two papers are essential in understanding all aspects of how this transition affects your retirement funds.

It’s imperative that you obtain this statement from your pension trustees right away, as it contains all the necessary information to assist in making informed decisions concerning your retirement. It provides details such as date of entry and exit into the scheme, a thorough appraisal of its value, and an array of possibilities for every single situation upon leaving. This document is essential when designing potential pathways forward; therefore don’t delay – secure yours today!

There are three major options to consider for your pension.

1: Leave it in the Pension scheme (in other words do nothing)

Preserved Benefits, regulated by the Pensions Act, can offer a certain level of security when it comes to your pension plan. However, there are some potential drawbacks that you should be aware of before making any decisions about your future financial standing. So that you can make an informed choice for yourself and benefit from expert advice along the way, why not speak with one of our knowledgeable advisors today?

Though not advised, staying with the scheme and doing nothing may seem like a simple choice. Nevertheless, this will leave you in the dark as there is no guarantee that they’ll keep communication or provide any updates regarding your pension funds management and investment decisions. Consequently, you won’t have freedom to make informed choices based on those reports.

By taking your pension funds out of investments and converting them to cash, you are reducing their potential for growth. Not only will this prevent the ability to beat inflation, but it could also affect meeting retirement goals and objectives. In order to avoid extra charges or delays in realizing financial independence, consider maintaining your pension fund invested with a dependable firm that can generate returns over time.

If you are considering relocating and want to review your alternatives, we encourage you to ask yourself the following inquiries: Do the fees appear reasonable and understandable? Is my Pension Provider helpful and reliable? Has my Pension performed optimally? If your responses were anything other than affirmative, it would be wise for you to transfer your Pension before moving.


As a deferred member, you can still access your pension at retirement. You have the opportunity to withdraw tax-free funds in one lump sum, transfer money into an Annuity program, or choose an Approved Retirement Fund (ARF).


As a Trustee of the scheme, it is not mandatory for you to communicate with its members and provide regular updates.

Moreover, your retirement options are determined by the rules established within the system. Additionally, since most schemes focus on catering to a large number of employees at once, there are usually only limited investment opportunities available, which could lead to underperformance in some cases.

Without access to professional Financial Advice after leaving their employer, individuals can find it difficult to make informed decisions about their retirement plans. Furthermore, if someone passes away before they have the opportunity to retire, this may cause complications for their dependents.

2: Transfer your pension to your new employer’s pension scheme

When transitioning to a new job, transferring the value of your pension benefits is usually an option. You can move it over to your new employer’s scheme – although not all schemes accept this, so ensure you check with both employers first. Though there are pros and cons in deciding on this choice, it’s critically important that you seek professional advice before making any decisions.

Managing multiple pension pots can be a cumbersome task, but this option eliminates that hassle and allows you to effortlessly calculate your total retirement package. Best of all, it gives you accurate insight into the income level you will receive when retired.

When transferring your pension benefits, you may need to sell existing assets in order to be transferred. This could cause a prolonged period away from the market and can result in selling at a lower price and buying back for more money depending on current conditions – an outcome you might regret later.


Take charge of your future and simplify your retirement savings with pension consolidation. This can help you keep track of the development of your wealth, all from one centralised location.


If you’re considering departing your current job, it’s essential to be aware of the potential risks. Switching employment may strip away any salary or rights established through service. To protect yourself and ensure a smooth transition, make sure all queries are addressed before making a move!

If not done properly, transferring funds may prove too difficult to accomplish – leaving you powerless over both your money and any associated investments.

To get the highest possible pension benefits, one should wait until their departure from their current employer to take action. Maximize these rewards by accessing them at this specific time for best results.

3. Transform your pension into an account that is personally owned by you.

When deciding your retirement scheme, you have the ability to transfer the value of your pension fund into either a Personal Retirement Savings Account or Buyout Bond (PRB), where you are solely responsible for determining its investment strategy. With these accounts, you will feel secure in knowing that you hold complete control over it.


When you independently manage your pension and investments, all the money is securely in your name. So rest easy knowing that you have complete command over what matters most to you.

Achieving retirement goals is attainable when you seek the assistance of a qualified Financial Advisor who can create an individualized plan that aligns with your risk threshold. This safeguards your accrued benefits and provides peace of mind.

In addition, it’s effortless to move PRBs between companies now! At age 50 you will be able to benefit from sizable tax-free lump sums as well as more choices for withdrawals.


Yearly Management Charges may fluctuate depending on the funds and investment classes you opt for, but your financial advisor can give wise counsel to assist in guiding this decision.

4. (in some circumstances) Take a refund of contributions

If you have been in the pension scheme for less than two years, you are eligible for a refund after taxes at a basic rate. Please note that this does not exclude your employer from receiving their contributions back if you decide to go through with it.

What is the most suitable choice for you?

Ultimately, you have the ultimate decision-making power; but if you’re struggling to come to a conclusion on what course is best for your financial future, consulting with an experienced Financial Advisor could be the key. We are always available and eager to offer guidance when it comes to personal finance matters such as this one.

Ultimately, the decision is yours to make based on your specific situation; yet we firmly urge speaking with one of our experienced advisors before making any major financial decisions. Many factors must be taken into account in addition to a thorough comprehension of the potential ramifications before arriving at a conclusion.

Our Advice

When it comes to preserving your Pension entitlements during a job transition, opting for the Personal Retirement Bond is always wise. After all, these funds are yours – why not take charge of them? Plus, this option ensures that you can maintain full control over your retirement savings in an easy and direct manner.

At FJ Hanly & Associates, our elite and impartial Financial Advisors are here to assist you in deciding whether pension transfer is the ideal option for your circumstance. If so, we promise to promptly guide you through every stage of this process—guaranteeing that all money will be carefully handled and strictly monitored.

Personal Retirement Bond (PRB)

For those aiming to take charge of their retirement savings and invest with a plan, the Personal Retirement Bond (PRB) is your solution! With this option, you can select the amount of risk that best suits you – all while being supported by experienced Financial Advisors. You even have the power to move funds from one provider to another if it means improved charges or fund allocation rate, as well as access to money when needed. Please bear in mind though: once purchased, PRBs cannot be contributed further.

Opting for this option allows you to bypass communication with your former employer or Trustees. Though the Annual Management Charges may be slightly more costly than some other options, they are still competitive and include active management of funds which could potentially generate better returns in time. Plus, these charges come with full transparency!

What happens at Retirement Date?

On retirement, you can benefit from a tax-free lump sum of either 25% of your fund or up to 150% of what your salary was based on service. The maximum amount that can be taken out is €200,000! Once the retirement lump sum has been obtained, you may then opt for an annuity, which will provide a steady income throughout life, or transfer the remaining balance into an approved retirement fund (ARF). As part of the leaving service options: defined benefits pension scheme by law, this lump sum payment must also be made.

It is highly recommended to seek professional advice from an experienced advisor before transferring out of your Defined Benefits pension scheme. To begin the transfer process away from your former employer, simply reach out to their HR department and inquire about their ‘Leaving Service Options’ plan. This will be essential in helping you ensure all of your accrued benefits are seamlessly transferred into a new retirement savings option with speed and ease.

Submitting your request to the trustees for a “Leaving Service Options Letter” through either the HR department or pension administrator will provide you with all of the necessary information pertaining to how much benefits have been accrued, as well as what options are available.

As soon as you read this letter, please do not hesitate to contact us in any way that best suits your needs. Whether it’s over the phone or with a Qualified Financial Advisor, we are here and highly motivated to offer whatever assistance required!

Get in touch with us for help with bringing your pension under your control and knowing your options.

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