Irish Life Health
Welcome to Ireland’s newest health Insurer, Irish Life Health. Bringing fresh options and innovation to the health insurance market.
Irish Life
Irish Life the largest life and pensions group and fund manager in Ireland, employing 2,000 people and servicing one million customers.
Irish Life Investment Managers
Managing assets in excess 39bn, ILIM manages money on behalf of multinational corporations, charities and domestics.

Questions people often ask

We’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions below:

What are Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)

 Additional Voluntary Contributions or AVCs are extra savings which you can make towards your pension. Making AVCs can be a great option for you if you wish to increase the level of your retirement benefits.

AVCs are treated like normal pension contributions for tax purposes. Therefore, like pension contributions, AVCs qualify for tax relief at your highest rate of tax (Subject to Revenue limits). Also, any investment growth achieved by your AVC fund is tax free. When you retire, the value of your AVC fund is available to improve the benefits provided by your main pension plan.

The entitlement to tax relief is not automatically guaranteed.

To find out more about AVCS click here

How can I make a once-off lump sum payment into my pension plan and offset it against last year's tax?

 You may be able to make a lump sum payment into your pension savings and claim tax back against last year’s tax. Find out more here:

How can I change my investment choice within the pension plan?

 You can switch funds three ways – online via our Member Portal, by email or by post.

The below steps are for members of Defined Contribution (DC) schemes, Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVC) schemes, Personal Retirement Bonds (PRBs) and Personal Retirement Saving Account (PRSA) policies.  



If you are going online, you’ll need to be at your PC or laptop, not from your mobile phone.

1. Log onto your pension online

2. Visit the Investment Section. You will see a switch funds button, click this.

3. Follow the simple steps from there.





By post:

1. Simply download and complete the form here

2. Post the completed form to

Irish Life Assurance plc


Corporate Business

Lower Abbey Street

Dublin 1

3. Alternatively, email the completed form to -

If you would like to contact us directly you can email or contact us on 01 7041845

If you have a Personal Retirement Bond (PRB) policy you can download and complete the form here, please remember to include the name of the fund you wish to switch to and email, alternatively you can post this to:

Irish Life Assurance plc


Corporate Business

Lower Abbey Street

Dublin 1

How can I transfer my previous pension benefits into my Irish Life plan?

 If you're wondering how to transfer your previous pension benefits into an Irish Life plan, the rules around transferring benefits from a previous pension plan into your Irish Life plan will depend on several factors and stakeholders. e.g., your previous pension provider, trustees of the previous scheme, Irish Life and the trustees of your current pension plan.

Before Irish Life, as the current pension provider, can confirm acceptance of a transfer in, we must seek approval from the receiving scheme trustees.  In order to seek trustee approval, we need details of the proposed transfer.

To this end we have a Transfer of Benefits Form that can be completed by the transferring life office with the information we require. You can find the form in the Document Download Centre of our website, in the Customer Service Forms section.

To support this, we have designed a chart for members that illustrates the typical steps involved in the transfer process.  This can be used as a tool to explain the process involved in transferring from one plan to another. Click on the image below to see a larger version of the step-by-step guide.

What if I change jobs?

 If you leave your current employer after more than two years in the pension plan, you will not have access to your pension fund until you retire. However, you do have a number of options in relation to the retirement savings you have built up during your time with the company. These options include:

  1. Deferred pension - You can usually leave the value of your pension fund in your previous employer’s pension plan until you retire and then use it to get a retirement benefit.
  2. You may be able to transfer the value of your retirement savings to a new employer’s pension plan (if your new employer’s plan allows).
  3. If you do not join another company pension plan and you decide to set up a Personal Retirement Savings Account (PRSA) and you may, in certain circumstances, transfer the value of your retirement savings into it.
  4. You can take the value of your retirement savings from your current employer’s plan when you leave and invest in what is known as a Buy-Out-Bond or a Personal Retirement Bond (PRB). This is an individual lump-sum investment.

Should you leave your current employer within two years of being in the pension plan, you may be required to take a refund of the value of your own contributions less tax. There may be circumstances where you may also be entitled to the value of the Employer’s contributions (less 20% tax) under the EU Supplementary Pension Rights Regulations 2019. Irish Life will advise you and your Employer if this applies to you. Some plans may allow you to leave your contributions in the plan, even though they are not required to do so by law.

I've left employment, but can I continue to pay into the scheme?

 As the scheme is a company pension plan you must be an active employee of the company in order to pay into the scheme. Once you leave employment you can no longer contribute into the plan.

What happens if I die before I retire?

 If you die before you reach retirement age, your pension plan rules will determine what benefits will be made available to your dependants. This is known as a ‘death in service’ benefit. The benefit for each company pension plan is different so please check your member schedule for specific details.

Under most pension plans, the value of the pension fund is paid to the estate in the event of death of the policy holder/member.

Are there any additional benefits as part of this plan?

 Your employer may also provide you with important benefits such as Life Assurance cover and/or Income Protection benefit whilst you are employed with them. These benefits may be included as part of this plan and, if so, details will be provided to you on joining. If these benefits are included in a separate plan, your plan contact will provide you with the details.

What happens if I move abroad?

 Your retirement savings will always be yours and you will be able to use them when you decide to retire. There may be restrictions on transfers abroad depending on the country you wish to transfer your benefits to. We deal with transfers abroad on an individual basis so please email or phone 01 704 1845 and we will be happy to talk through this with you.

What is a Master Trust?

 A Master Trust is a defined contribution pension scheme designed for multiple non-associated employers under one trust arrangement. Each scheme benefits from being part of a single trust, but each employers’ scheme is administered entirely separately.

By participating in the Irish Life EMPOWER Master Trust, employers and scheme members benefit from Irish Life’s market leading technology, investment expertise, reduced costs and extensive DC scheme knowledge, with the reassurance that the scheme is being governed by the Master Trust trustees, meeting all governance standards required under pension legislation.

When can I claim/draw down the benefits from my company pension plan?

 Most people would claim/draw down their pension benefits at normal retirement age (NRA). The NRA associated with pension plans can vary, you can see what your NRA is online or on your benefit statement.

You may be able to take your pension benefits before NRA however, depending on your specific circumstances and the plan of which you are a member. However, the plan is designed to provide benefits at your normal retirement age and retiring early could mean your retirement savings will be less than if drawn down at your NRA.

You may be able to take retirement benefits from your pension plan earlier because of ill health, although trustee consent is normally required. If you take your benefits early, the value you get could be a lot less than if you had claimed your benefits at normal retirement age.

If you are still working and have reached normal retirement age in the employment to which the company pension plan relates to, you can claim your company pension and continue to work, assuming your employer agrees.

What benefits will I get from my DC pension at retirement?

 Benefits at retirement from Defined Contribution pension plans can be taken in 1 of 2 ways at retirement.

*Please note that the maximum overall amount of Cash Lump Sum that an individual can draw down tax free from pension arrangements over his/her lifetime is €200,000.

**These amounts may change (up or down) as specified by the Government. The amounts quoted are correct as at May  2022.

You may not be entitled to a lump sum at retirement if you have waived the right to a lump sum during a redundancy process.

How can I maximise my cash lump sum at retirement?

 Members of Defined Contribution schemes should ensure that their retirement options take into account all relevant factors in order to maximise the Cash Lump Sum allowable. Some of the key factors are:

Pension Pot Value

  • If you are choosing the 25% lump sum route, the higher your pension fund value, the higher your lump sum will be in monetary terms. Pension pot values can be increased by contributing more, or by growth on the investment.


Revenue rules permit a number of options in relation to the salary on which the Cash Lump Sum is based.

  • The salary* in the year in which you retire
  • The highest salary* in the last 5 years
  • The average of the highest 3 consecutive years salaries* in the previous 10 years

*This can be the Gross salary as per the P60 plus pension contributions for that year, or the rate of salary at a particular point during that year. You should note that the average of certain non-salary payments e.g. Benefit in Kind (BIK) or overtime, may be used to increase the salary for Revenue limit purposes.         

Total Service

  • Ensure the date of joining and leaving service are accurate.
  • It is also important to ensure that any Transfer Values paid into the current pension arrangement are taken into account, and that the Cash Lump Sum is not solely based on the service with the current employer

Retained Benefits

If you have pension benefits with more than one pension provider/employer, it is very important that you make Irish Life (and your other pension provider, if relevant) aware of the other pension benefits to ensure that the Cash Lump Sum is calculated within Revenue limits

Can you make a last minute Single Premium Payment?

You may be eligible to make a last minute Single Premium payment to the pension scheme before you retire in order to maximise your Cash Lump Sum. Please discuss this with your financial adviser before making any payment to ensure that this is the best course of action for you. Also see our information on last minute AVCs, watch this video which might help, or read through the AVC webpage. 

What is an annuity?

 It is a pension or income for life that you purchase with some or all your retirement savings.

You may choose either a set pension amount, or one that starts lower, but increases by a set amount each year, to help offset the effects of inflation. You may also choose what will happen to your pension when you die. For example, it can stop immediately – or it can continue to be paid (in full or at a reduced rate) to your widow/er or civil partner.

What is an Approved Minimum Retirement Fund (ARF)?

 It is an ongoing investment fund. It still has the potential to earn investment returns, but nothing is guaranteed. If you choose this option, instead of receiving a regular pension, you can simply withdraw the money you need (subject to specific conditions), as and when required. On your death, the balance in the fund will be paid to your chosen dependants or estate and taxed accordingly. 

We have a great selection of videos for you to watch, on demand, whenever it suits you.

Who can I contact for further information?

We’re here to help in any way we can. 

If you want more information in relation to your pension plan, you should contact your broker or financial adviser. If you have a pension with Irish Life Corporate Business that does not have an appointed broker or advisor, you can also contact us at or call 01 704 1845.