If you work for yourself, funding a self-employed pension is something that can get left behind. There are plenty of competing demands on your cash, especially in the early years of trading. Here’s how you can make a start on your pension if you’re in your 40s and self-employed.
Some good news to begin with
The good news is that the tax system gives some handy privileges to self-employed people.
If you’re a sole trader, for example, you can use a personal pension, which is often better value than a PRSA.
And if you use a limited company, the contribution limits are considerably more generous than the age-related limits for employees.
What that means is that you have lots of scope to catch up on your pension for the years you’ve missed. You can also likely make a chunky lump sum contribution – for example, if you experience a year of exceptionally good trading.
How to go about your pension
In fact, that’s exactly the way many self-employed people sort out their pension. We often recommend a two-pronged approach.
First, set up a regular monthly amount so that you’re building up retirement wealth all the time.
Secondly, get into the habit of sending a lump sum towards the end of your financial year once you have visibility on what your earnings will look like.
So how much should you pay into your pension?
If you’re starting your pension in your 40s, there is some catching up to do. Take a look at our calculator to get an idea of what you’ll need.
Remember of course, that tax relief on the money you pay in will propel the value of your pension pot by as much as 67% straightaway.
The example below is based on starting a self-employed pension aged 40, in Ireland, and planning to retire aged 68. If you’re a top-rate taxpayer, an after-tax pension contribution of just over €500 each month (that’s €886 before tax relief) could set you up for income of around €30,000 in retirement.
Starting’s the hard bit
If you’re considering starting a pension in your 40s, don’t get too hung up on the numbers. The hardest bit is to make a start.
Your contribution, however modest, will still benefit from income tax relief, tax-free investment growth, and a tax-free lump sum on retirement. You can always increase it over the years ahead.
Interested to get going? Just fill in the form below and we’ll be happy to help.