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All pension enthusiasts will be aware, with effect from 1st of January 2024, the Finance Bill proposes to remove the current maximum age of 75 at which benefits can be taken from a PRSA. In essence this means that there will be no need for PRSA holders to move to an Approved Retirement Fund (ARF) when accessing benefits but can take the 25% lump sum and remain invested in the PRSA, thereby making the PRSA a whole of life product.

We welcome this change and believe making the PRSA a whole of life product, will change the pension industry and the client experience for the better.  Not only does it dramatically simplify the pension landscape, but it also removes all the noise, transactions and costs associated with the years leading into pension access dates.

We firmly believe that a pension vehicle is the most affective investment vehicle around.  We all know the advantages of the tax relief; we are also aware invested funds in a pension grow tax free and yet we must cajole and encourage many clients to take a long-term investment outlook and risk up, accordingly, ensuring they truly benefit from tax free compounding returns.

Too often we hear of cases where clients dramatically reduce their risk allocation approaching pension access date even though in most cases, 75% of the funds will continue to be invested post pension access.  We will never understand why the industry focuses on 5 years or 10 years plus when advising clients on investment horizons. Even if you are late to retirement planning, you could be looking at 30 years plus investment time frame. Given the long-time horizons, in most cases, getting clients to take an adventurous risk allocation is the most appropriate advice to give.  We truly hope that by calling the pension a whole of life product, more investors will feel empowered, to take a whole of life investment outlook.

In a world of quick fixes along with the perceived need for action and transactions, we invite you to let time be your ally in the journey of financial growth.

If Carlsberg did pensions, they would do whole of life ones!