Approved Retirement Fund

Cregan Kelly O'Brien Financial Planning are specialist independent advisors in relation to Approved Retirement Funds (ARF’s) and Approved Minimum Retirement Funds (AMRF’s). We pride ourselves on the quality and independence of our advice.

It is crucial that you get independent advice when it comes to arranging an ARF or AMRF.

We have access to every ARF/AMRF fund option in the market and we take great care in advising our clients on all the options available.

Investing in an Approved Retirement Fund

Approved Retirement Funds (ARFs) and Approved Minimum Retirement Funds (AMRFs) are funds managed by qualifying fund managers in which you can invest the proceeds of your pension fund when it matures.

After you have taken any tax free lump sum, €63,500 or the remainder of the pension fund if less, must be transferred to an AMRF or used to buy an annuity. Any balance over €63,500 can be invested in an ARF or withdrawn as cash. Any cash withdrawn at this stage will be taxed as income. You must draw a minimum income of 5% of the fund value per annum.

You do not have to invest in an AMRF if:

You have a guaranteed pension or annuity of at least €12,700 a year for life (all of your
pensions and annuities including the Social Welfare Pension can be taken into account
for this purpose).


If you are over age 75

The sum invested in an AMRF cannot be withdrawn until you reach age 75. However, income or growth from your AMRF may be withdrawn.

How is my ARF/AMRF invested?
Your ARF/AMRF is invested in funds of your choice. These funds grow tax free.

Can I take a regular income from my ARF?
Yes, you can take a regular income and this is taxed at your marginal (higher) tax rate. This income is generally not guaranteed and depends heavily on how your investment performs. Taking a regular income may reduce the total value of your ARF, especially if investment returns are poor and/or you choose a high rate of income. The higher the level of regular income you choose, the higher the chances that your ARF will be fully used up in your lifetime. If your ARF is used up no further income will be paid.

Can I take lump sums out of my ARF?

Yes, you can take money out whenever you want to. All withdrawals will be taxed as income at your marginal (higher) tax rate.

What happens to my ARF when I die?

The value of your ARF and AMRF is passed to your estate when you die. Depending on who inherits the money, different levels of tax will apply. If your ARF or AMRF is inherited by your husband or wife, there is no immediate tax. It transfers to an ARF in the name of your spouse.

Children over the age of 21 who inherit money from an ARF or AMRF will be liable to pay tax at the standard tax rate (20% from 6th April 2001) irrespective of whether they inherit the money directly, or through the spouse of the original ARF or AMRF owner.

Advantages of the ARF/AMRF

You have control and flexibility over how your retirement fund is invested

Your fund can be invested in a wide range of funds, giving it the potential to continue to grow

When you die, the value of your ARF/AMRF is passed on to your estate

You have access to your money whenever you need it

You can vary your level of regular income to suit your needs

Disadvantages of the ARF/AMRF

Your fund is not guaranteed to last for your lifetime

If you withdraw more income than your fund grows by each year, your fund could run out before you die

The value of your fund could fall or rise, depending on where it is invested. You may not
want this kind of risk

Approved Retirement Fund

How your ARF is taxed for inheritance

Tax Free Cash options

Taxed Cash

After you take your tax free cash, you can take all or part of the balance of your fund as cash and pay tax on it.

Before you withdraw this cash, you must either have bought an AMRF, or be able to prove that you have guaranteed income of at least €12,700 a year for the rest of your life. Any money that you withdraw in this way will be taxed as income at your marginal (higher) income tax rate.

Advantages of Taxed Cash

Gives you quick access to a cash lump sum

Disadvantages of Taxed Cash

Unless you have sufficient income from another source, you could run out of money

Overview of ARF and taxed cash options

About Cregan Kelly O'Brien


In 2007 Maurice Cregan and Colm Kelly established CK Financial Services to provide financial planning and advice to business owners and individuals. Tommy O'Brien, a General Insurance expert, then joined them in 2010, enabling them to meet the full financial needs of their clients. Financial Life & Planning Limited would deliver Financial Services, and O'Brien Cregan Kelly Insurances would deliver Insurance Broking services. Two Business Names were registered Cregan Kelly O'Brien Financial Planning and Cregan Kelly O'Brien Insurances

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