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Pension Information

What Is the Average Pension in Ireland and How Can You Ensure You're Saving Enough?

July 20, 2023

Securing a pension and building your nest egg for retirement is one of the most important decisions you will make in your lifetime. Despite its importance, many people do not know how much of a pension pot they will need to enjoy their golden years. In this blog post, we will delve into the important topic of pensions and retirement planning to shed some light on this important subject. We will explore the average pension in Ireland, discuss the factors that influence pension amounts, and provide expert insights on how you can ensure you're saving enough for a comfortable retirement. Our goal is to equip you with the knowledge, strategies, and guidance you need to make informed decisions about your pension and secure a prosperous future. So, let's dig in.

Understanding the Average Pension in Ireland

In Ireland, the average pension amount can vary significantly based on several factors. These factors include your occupation, the type of pension you opt for, income levels, contribution rates, and the performance of your pension investments. While the State Pension provided by the Irish government serves as a foundation for retirement income, it may not be sufficient to maintain the desired lifestyle during retirement. Therefore, it's crucial to take proactive steps to bolster your pension savings.

To gain a better understanding of the average pension in Ireland, let's examine the various types of pensions available:

State Pension: The State Pension is a social welfare payment available to individuals who have reached the qualifying age. As of 2023, the maximum weekly rate for a State Pension is €265.30. 

Occupational Pension: An occupational pension is a retirement scheme provided by an employer. These schemes are set up by employers to help employees save for retirement and typically involve both employer and employee contributions. The amount you receive from an occupational pension will depend on factors such as your salary, the length of your employment, and the contribution levels.

Personal Pension: A personal pension is particularly relevant to individuals who are self-employed and who wish to save for retirement. Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSAs) allow you and your employer to contribute regularly towards your pension with the funds accrued through your contributions being invested to grow over time. PRSAs offer a range of investment choices to match your risk tolerance and financial goals, from conservative to more adventurous options like equities, bonds, or funds. Not only do PRSAs provide flexibility, but they also, like Personal Pensions, come with tax benefits, allowing you to reduce your taxable income by making contributions.

What is the Average Pension?

According to a recent 2022 survey of over 200 respondents, the average pension pot in Ireland is €104,000. A 2020 Pensions Survey carried out by the Irish Central Statistics Office found that 59.8% of Irish workers have pension cover. Recent research indicates that the average pension amount is trending upwards, it still falls shy of what most of us would require as a nest egg to live the retirement lifestyle we want to. In fact, the same 2022 survey mentioned above found that the average pension pot respondents would like to have when they retired was €433,000.

Given this chasm between the actual average pension amount and the amount people would like to have, the importance of understanding how to maximise your pension pot cannot be understated. 

Factors Affecting Your Pension Amount

When it comes to planning for your retirement and understanding the amount of pension you can expect to receive, it's crucial to consider several key factors that influence your pension entitlements. By understanding these factors, you can set realistic expectations and make informed decisions about your retirement planning.

First and foremost, your employment history plays a significant role. The length of your working career and the nature of your employment can impact your pension amount. Generally, the more years you contribute to a pension scheme, the higher your pension is likely to be. Consistent and continuous employment over the years tends to result in more substantial pension savings.

Your income levels during your working years also play a crucial role in determining your pension. Higher earnings lead to larger pension contributions and potentially higher pension benefits. It's important to consider how your income may change over time and the impact it will have on your pension savings.

Another important factor is the contribution rate you choose. The percentage of your income that you contribute towards your pension will significantly impact the final amount. It's worth assessing your current contribution rate and consider increasing it if possible, to maximise your retirement savings.

The performance of your pension investments is also crucial. The returns you earn on your pension investments can have a significant impact on the growth of your pension fund. Positive investment returns can boost your overall pension amount, while poor returns can have a detrimental effect. Regularly reviewing and assessing your pension investment strategy is important. As you age, your risk tolerance and time to retirement will diminish, hence the need to review regularly.

Arguably the most important factor to affecting your pension pot is the type of pension you opt for. Some pensions suit some individuals better than others depending on their situation, age and occupation. The best way to figure out what the best pension plan is for you is to contact one of our pension experts here at FitzGerald Flynn. Together we can put together a pension strategy that will maximise your nest egg upon retirement. 

By considering these factors and how they interplay, you can make informed decisions about your pension contributions, investment strategy, and overall retirement planning.

Maximising Your Pension Savings

When it comes to building a substantial pension fund and ensuring you're saving enough for retirement, there are several strategies you can consider. One of the most important steps is to start early. Time is a powerful ally in this regard, as the earlier you begin saving for retirement, the more time your investments have to grow. Starting early allows you to take advantage of compounding returns and potentially accumulate a more significant pension sum over time.

Another key aspect is defining your retirement goals. Take some time to envision your ideal retirement lifestyle. Consider factors such as your living expenses, travel plans, healthcare costs, and any specific goals you have in mind. Having this clarity will help you set realistic savings targets and make informed decisions about your pension contributions.

It's also crucial to assess your current pension provisions. Take a close look at your existing pension schemes, including any occupational or personal pensions you may have. Evaluate their performance, fees, and contribution levels. Understanding the complexities of your pension can be difficult so it is always wise to consult with a financial adviser who can provide expert insights and identify potential areas for improvement. At FitzGerald Flynn, we can help you assess whether you're on track to meet your retirement goals and suggest adjustments if necessary.

Regularly reviewing and adjusting your pension strategy is essential. Life circumstances change, and your retirement goals may evolve over time. It's crucial to regularly review your pension provisions, contribution levels, and investment performance. Make adjustments as needed to stay on track and ensure that you're saving enough to achieve your retirement objectives.

Given the complexity of pensions and retirement planning, seeking professional advice is highly recommended. Our qualified financial advisers can help you conduct a comprehensive pension review, set clear savings goals, maximise tax advantages, stay informed on pension regulations, and provide ongoing guidance and support.

By adopting these strategies and taking a proactive approach to pension planning, you can enhance your chances of building a sufficient retirement nest egg.

Exploring Retirement Options in Ireland

When it comes to retirement in Ireland, you have several options to consider. Each option has its advantages and considerations, so it's essential to explore them and choose the one that aligns with your retirement goals and preferences. Here are two common retirement options:

Annuities: An annuity is a financial product that provides a fixed income stream for life. It offers stability and security, as you will receive regular payments throughout your retirement. Annuities can be tailored to include additional benefits, such as inflation protection or a guarantee period. However, it's important to carefully consider the terms and conditions of an annuity before committing, as they are irreversible. Annuities are generally purchased at retirement from the proceeds of pension plans such as Personal Pensions, Occupational Pensions and PRSAs.

Approved Retirement Funds (ARFs): An ARF provides flexibility and control over your pension savings. ARFs allow you to transfer your entire pension as one lump sum into a new fund upon retirement. Here, your pension fund will continue to be invested and grow. ARFs allow you to withdraw money from your fund regularly to provide yourself with an income. Withdrawals from an ARF are subject to certain minimum annual requirements, and the investment returns and risks associated with ARFs can vary. However, managing an ARF requires careful consideration of investment choices and potential tax implications.

Choosing between annuities and ARFs depends on various factors, including your individual circumstances, risk tolerance, and retirement goals. It's recommended to consult with a qualified financial adviser, such as those we have here at FitzGerald Flynn, who can assess your specific situation and provide personalised guidance to help you make the right choice.

Seeking Professional Advice and Taking Action.

As previously stated, pensions and retirement planning can be complex, and it's essential to seek professional advice to navigate through the intricacies. FitzGerald Flynn Insurances’ Certified Financial Planners can help you conduct a thorough review of your existing pension provisions, investment performance, fees, and contribution levels can uncover potential areas for improvement. We can also assist you in optimising your savings and other investments to ensure your retirement strategy aligns with your retirement goals.

The Irish government provides tax advantages for pension contributions. Consulting with a tax adviser or financial professional can help you optimise these benefits and minimise your tax liabilities.

Finally, the world of retirement and pensions is an ever-changing landscape and staying up to date on regulatory and legislative changes that may impact your retirement savings is crucial. A financial adviser can help you stay informed and adjust your pension strategy accordingly.


Planning for your pension and ensuring you are accruing enough for a comfortable retirement is a significant financial undertaking. By understanding what the average pension in Ireland is versus what you need, considering the factors that affect your pension amount, maximising your savings, exploring retirement options, and seeking professional advice, you can take proactive steps towards securing a prosperous future.

At FitzGerald Flynn Insurances, we are here to support you on your pension journey. Contact us today to schedule a pension review and receive personalised guidance tailored to your specific needs. Let us help you make informed decisions and take control of your retirement planning.

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