Approved Retirement Fund “ARF”

What is an ARF?

An Approved Retirement Fund “ARF” is an investment fund that allows you to invest all or part of your pension fund after you retire. On setting up the fund you can transfer all or part of the balance of your pension fund after you receive your retirement lump sum.

  • You can decide on the type of funds you would like to invest in, and the amount of risk you are comfortable with.
  • An ARF allows you to remain invested in the market and gives you more control over how your retirement fund is managed.
  • It also enables you to take a flexible income in retirement.


What is an AMRF?

Before an individual can take out an ARF (Approved Retirement Fund), up to €63,500 of their fund must be used to purchase an Approved Minimum Retirement Fund or AMRF. An individual AMRF holder has the options to access up to 4% of the value of the assets each year as a once-off withdrawal.

In certain circumstances an individual can take out an ARF without having to also take out an AMRF. If the person has a guaranteed income of over €12,700 per annum including the state pension then an AMRF is not required. At age 75 your AMRF will be converted into an ARF.

Approved Retirement Fund "ARF"

Withdrawals from your ARF

Pension legislation dictates that from the year you turn 61 a mandatory annual distribution must be made on all combined and tax on these distributions made to the Revenue Commissioners. The requirements are as follows:

    • 4%: for ARF holders aged between 61 and 70, with a market value below €2 million
    • 5%: for ARF holders aged 71 onwards, with a market value below €2 million
    • 6%: for ARF holders with a market value above €2 million


The imputed distribution valuation date is the 30th November.

The benefit of owning an ARF is that you own the fund and you can decide to invest it as you see fit and, in the event of your death, the value of the fund will be passed to your next of kin in association with revenue rules. This is opposed to an Annuity, in which the funds are not passed to your next of kin, and instead cease in the event of your death.

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