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Blog Homepage > How to start Retirement Planning in 2015


Retirement planning is something that a lot of people put off, or keep stored in the back of their mind without ever really thinking about it. However, retirement planning is important and with the New Year now in full swing, there's no better time time to commit to beginning retirement planning! Maybe make it a belated New Year’s resolution?

We’re living longer, healthier lives so planning in advance for how we’re going to live out our retirement years makes a lot of sense. In this guide, we’re going to cover the basics of retirement planning.

1. Think about the lifestyle changes you’ll have to make

For most people, retirement takes place on a given date, once you hit a certain age or a date set out in your contract. Once you’ve retired, what kind of life would you like to have? Will you have an active retirement? Will you hang out with your family and live quietly? Will you be depending on a pension?

You might be thinking that you’re too young to have this sort of thing figured out, but once you get planning and the wheels are set in motion, you’ll have a lot less to worry about as you get older.

2. A key part of retirement planning is deciding what your main source of income will be

Retirement planning is all about making sure your retirement years are as enjoyable and relaxed as possible. Obviously, this means something different for everyone.

One of the key considerations of retirement planning is income and it varies from person to person. Some people will want to retire early. Others will remain in work until they reach retirement age. In any case, it’s always good to have a back-up plan.

Generally, a pension is the main source of income for retired people—it’s also the basis of retirement planning. If you don’t already have a pension plan, now’s a good time to look into setting one up. There are 4 types of pension plans available to the Public Sector:

  1. Your Superannuation Scheme: This is your employer’s pension scheme which will pay you a gratuity and a pension on your retirement. Typically the benefits will be based on your salary on retirement and your years of service. Membership of this tends to be compulsory.
  2. Purchase of Notional Service (PNS or NSP): This is a voluntary scheme run by your employer which allows you buy additional years of service to increase the benefits you receive from your Superannuation Scheme above.
  3. Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVC): This is a voluntary defined contribution scheme which builds up a fund of money for you to use to supplement your retirement benefits on retirement.  The value of the AVC on retirement will be determined by the level of contributions paid, the charges that apply and the investment return achieved.
  4. PRSA AVC: This works in exactly the same way as the AVC.

Something else to consider while you’re in the midst of retirement planning is tax. Yes, tax! If you’ve invested in an AVC or are expecting a lump sum payment, make sure you know what the tax situation is. With some pension plans you’re entitled to tax relief.

The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to have a great retirement.

3. Would you like to keep working while retired?

Retiring from one job doesn’t mean you have to quit working altogether and rely entirely on your pension plan. If you’re a busy person who likes to keep active, there’s always the option of working after you retire. It’s definitely something to consider when you start retirement planning. Keep in mind your budget: will you have an extra few bob from working part-time once you retire or will you be relying on a pension?

You don’t have to decide right now, but it’s always good to be prepared.

4. What age do you want to retire by?

You may have a plan to make your millions and have retired by forty, but that isn’t entirely plausible for most people. The State Pension age for employees who joined the Public Sector prior to 1st April 2004 is 65 years. For anyone who joined the Public Sector after 1st April 2004 this is currently 66 years, however this is subject to change as shown in the table below:

Joined Public SectorRetirement Age FromState Pension Age
State Pension Age1st January 201466 years
State Pension Age1st January 202167 years
State Pension Age1st January 202868 years


It’s important to consider how you’d like to spend your sixties and beyond when you start retirement planning. If you like the idea of early retirement but you probably won’t have made your millions by then, look into how it’ll affect your pension plan. Our experts can talk you through pensions and early retirement. Give us a call on (01) 408 6275 or click here to make an appointment.


5. Have a think about legal issues

Yes, we’re mentioning tax and legalities all in the one article! It’s not a happy topic, but the reality of getting old is often ill-health, especially if health issues run in the family. There might come a point in the future when you won’t be able to make your own legal and financial decisions. Good retirement planning accounts for all possibilities. Consider making a will and getting your insurance and pension plans in order. Your older self may someday thank your current self for being so organised!


There’s an awful lot to think about with retirement planning. We’ve touched on the basics in this article, but if you’d like to know more...

Make your appointment today for our Retirement Planning Service - click here or call us on (01) 420 0993.