Approved Retirement Funds (ARF's)

An Approved Retirement Fund (ARF) is an alternative option to an annuity or pension.


It is a personal investment account into which certain individuals can, in certain circumstances transfer part of their retirement fund at retirement instead of using those funds to buy an annuity or take their retirement benefit as a pension.

An ARF does not provide the longevity assurance provided by an annuity.

The balance in the ARF on death is preserved and paid to the ARF’s holder’s estate.

ARF’s like pension plans grow tax free.

Only funds from the arrangements outlined below can be transferred to an ARF

  • Personal Retirement Bonds in respect of retirement benefits accrued by an individual under a former approved occupational pension scheme or AVC’s
  • AVC’s
  • PRSA holders
  • Members of defined contribution occupational schemes where the scheme rules provide the ARF option.
  • Proprietary Directors who are members of a Revenue Approved Occupational Pension Scheme (i.e. with a minimum shareholding of more than 5%)
  • Personal Pension Plan holders where the plan was issued after 6th April 1999

Plans issued before 6th April 1999 may provide the ARF option provided the Life Company agrees

An Individual can withdraw funds from their ARF as and when required.

Any withdrawal is subject to PAYE and USC. If under the age of 66 PRSI also applies.

Imputed distribution (notional withdrawal) on ARF's is 4%, if attained age 61 or over in the tax year, increasing to 5% if attained age 71 or over in the tax year. It is calculated on the value of the fund as at 30th November.

The imputed distribution rises to 6% (if attained age 61 or over in the tax year) in respect of ARF's with asset values in excess of €2 million as at 30th November (or where an individual owns more than one ARF where the aggregate value of the assets in those ARF's exceeds €2 million).

In order to avoid double taxation on this portion, it is in the ARF holders interest to at least withdraw 4% of the ARF fund from the year  of their 61st birthday onwards .

Please note no imputed distribution will be made from an ARF in respect of a year where during the year the ARF holder had taken total withdrawals from the ARF of an amount at least equal to the rate of imputed distribution to apply for that year.






























Safe Life and Pensions Ltd

Registered in Ireland, Registration Number 508071

Address 9 Firgrove Park, Bishopstown Cork City

Safe Life and Pensions Ltd is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland