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EMPOWER Personal Lifestyle Strategy (PLS) is changing

Last December we announced changes we were making to our core PLS offering on our Defined Contribution) DC, (Personal Retirement Savings Account) PRSA and Personal Retirement Bonds (PRB) products. The changes outlined were implemented at the 1 April 2019.

 A core strength of our EMPOWER Personal Lifestyle Strategy (PLS) is the regular review process. This regular review is undertaken to ensure that PLS stays up to date and relevant. This review will take account of changes to the investment landscape and also any changes in legislation which impacts on individual scheme members and how they will most effectively take benefits at retirement.

What is changing?

DC Members

For DC members we have introduced a trivial pension check. At retirement we anticipate that a member will take the maximum tax free cash available. The enhancement we are introducing relates to how the balance of the members retirement savings will be invested:

PRSA Members

For PRSA members we have introduced a trivial pension check and made a change to the target benefit funds. At retirement we anticipate that a member will take the maximum tax free cash of 25% of their retirement savings.

Under current Revenue rules, after a member has taken a lump sum and if the total of all other retirement saving is less than €30,000 they are permitted to take the balance of their fund as a once off taxable payment.

PRB Members

On the core PRB strategies we have replaced the Annuity Matching Fund (EMPOWER Pension for Life Fund) in PLS with the EMPOWER Flexible ARF Fund so that with 1 year to retirement a member is 80% invested in the EMPOWER Cash Fund and 20% in the EMPOWER Flexible ARF Fund.

Who do the changes apply to?

The Trivial Pensions check will be introduced for members of PRSA and DC Policies, where those members are invested via Irish Life’s core EMPOWER PLS options.

The target fund changes will apply to PRB and PRSA members invested via Irish Life’s core EMPOWER PLS options.

We have written to all the members impacted at the start of the year.