Tax Relief

How To Claim Tax Relief On Pension Contributions In Ireland

April 3, 2023

In today's blog we will explore the topic of tax relief on your pension contributions. Looking to claim tax relief on your pension contributions is an incredibly sensible thing to do and can have a huge impact on your finances further down the line. The ability to gain back part of your pension payments can serve as a valuable tool as it allows you to save money on your taxes while letting your pension accumulate unhindered. However, as with all areas of finance, there are many tricky aspects to navigate and numerous potential pitfalls to avoid. Let’s first go through some of the basics and take a look at what can be done for you to make your money go that extra mile.

What is Tax Relief on Pension Contributions in Ireland?

Tax relief on pension contributions in Ireland is available on your taxable income. This relief is available for both personal and employer contributions to an approved pension scheme. The amount of tax relief you can claim depends on your individual circumstances, age, and the type of pension plan you have. In Ireland, there are a number of different types of pension schemes. These include Personal Pension Plans, Occupational Pension Plans, and PRSAs (Personal Retirement Savings Accounts). Each type of plan offers similar levels of tax relief and investment options. The tax relief you can claim depends on your age and your contribution amount. 

Who Qualifies for Tax Relief?

You can claim tax relief on pension contributions if you are an Irish resident, are under 75 years of age and you are making contributions to an approved pension scheme. The tax relief is available for both personal and employer contributions. The amount of tax relief you can claim depends on your age, and the amount of contributions you make.

How to Claim Tax Relief?

The process of claiming tax relief on pension contributions is relatively straightforward. First, you need to make sure that the pension plan you are contributing to is approved by Revenue.

If you are a PAYE employed worker, it is generally the case that your employer will automatically deduct the contributions from your salary directly. Your salary will be adjusted to reflect the tax relief on any contribution the employee makes, subject to Revenue limits. If your employer is not deducting your pension contributions from your pay, or you are self-employed, you can sign into your MyAccount or the Revenue Online Services website to access your account and file and complete an income tax return. Alternatively, you can reach out to our pensions team here at FitzGerald Flynn for help and guidance.

Limitations of Tax Relief

It is important to note that there are limits on the amount of tax relief you can claim. The eligibility for tax relief on employee pension contributions is restricted by three primary limitations: your age, a limit based on total earnings, and retained benefits.

When it comes to age-related tax relief limitations, in any given year, you can receive tax relief up to the applicable age-related percentage limit of your earnings. However, if you have multiple sources of income, this relief applies only to the income source for which the contributions were made. 

You can only get tax relief on a specific percentage limit of your gross income based on your age. These limits can be seen in the below table:

Age % Limited to
Under 30 15%
30-39 20%
40-49 25%
50-54 30%
55-59 35%
60 and over 40%

In addition to age-based limitations, there is also a limit to the total amount of your annual salary you can claim tax relief on. The total amount of earnings that can be taken into consideration when calculating how much relief you can receive is €115,000 a year. 

Lump Sum Payout Relief

Pension Plans allow for a tax-free lump sum pay out from your pension once you claim your pension benefits. Depending on your Pension Fund size, you can take 25% as illustrated below:

Amount of lump sum Income tax rate
Up to €200,000 0%
€200,001 – €500,000 20%
Over €500,000 Taxpayer's marginal rate+ USC+PRSI

For example: 1) If your fund size is €400,000 you can take 25% as follows: €100,000 as a tax-free lump sum. The balance, €300,000, is then to be transferred into an Approved Retirement Fund (ARF). 2) If your fund is €1,000,000 you can take 25% thus; first €200,000 tax-free and €50,000 at a tax rate of 20%. The balance usually transfers to an ARF. 

Sometimes, retirees opt for ‘salary and service route’ when claiming their pension benefits. If you have a certain number of years of service, the maximum tax-free lump sum you can receive from an occupational pension is 1.5 times your final salary. The balance of the fund must be used to purchase an annuity. These are also subject to Revenue limits per the above schedule. For Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSAs) or Retirement Annuity Contracts (RACs), the maximum tax-free lump sum you can receive is 25% of the fund, subject to the same Revenue Limits as above. 

Tax Rules and Regulations

It is important to keep in mind that the rules and regulations governing tax relief on pension contributions in Ireland can be complex. Therefore, it is important to seek professional advice from a financial advisor or tax expert before making any decisions.

A financial advisor or tax expert can help you understand the different types of pension plans available, the tax reliefs you can claim, and the limitations of tax relief. In addition, a financial advisor can help you understand the tax implications of withdrawing money from your pension plan. They can also help you develop a tax relief strategy that maximises your savings.

Tax Relief Strategies and Tips

When it comes to tax relief on pension contributions, it is important to develop a strategy that maximises your savings. Here are some tips to help you do this:

  • Be sure to contribute to a Revenue recognised Pension Plan from an early age.

  • Starting early and maximising your pension contributions. Regardless of your age and current employment situation, ensuring you have a pension plan in place is paramount to ensuring financial stability once you retire.
  • Make sure to compare different pension plans to find the one that offers the best tax relief for your employment circumstances.

  • Consider investing in a diversified portfolio to maximise your returns.


Planning for your future can often seem like a daunting task but with the right guidance and assistance, it is a lot easier than it seems. Understanding the framework surrounding tax and pension contributions is key when it comes to maximising your investments and growing your pension pot. Here at FitzGerald Flynn Insurances, we have decades of experience to ensure our clients receive the maximum relief and return on their pension savings.

Whether you are a first-time investor or a seasoned one, understanding the complex ins and outs of tax relief on pension contributions in Ireland is essential. By following the tips outlined in this blog and reaching out to an experienced qualified financial advisor like FitzGerald Flynn, you can ensure that you are taking full advantage of the tax relief available. Give us a call today and we can set you on the right path.

Our insights

Over the years we have gained some experience. Every month we like to share them with you. Check in with our blog.


Before you call us, maybe your questions have already been answered.

Contact Us
Call us now
01 2122 895
Contact form