It’s never too late to start a pension.  And with generous tax relief, longer lifespans and lots of investment options, it’s almost always worth doing.  Moneycube explains why, and what you should do to start a pension today.

Good reasons for starting late

Many people worry they haven’t started saving for retirement early enough.  But there are lots of good reasons for saving heavily later in your career.

For one thing, most people’s incomes normally peak in middle age.  For another, the expensive years of raising children may be behind you.  And with a bit of luck, the end of the monthly mortgage payment is coming into sight.

For the first time, you’ve got the opportunity to put serious sums aside for retirement.

Happily, the tax system recognizes this, and gives you relief on income tax for up to 40% of your income, if you plough it into a pension.  (This means that for a reduction of €60 in your pay packet, €100 goes into your pension).

Start at 50, and retire with an €800k pension pot?

In fact, if you’re 50 and starting from zero pension provision, it’s possible to build a large pot in a fairly short time.

We’ve calculated that a person on a €80,000 salary, saving into a pension for maximum tax relief, could put together a pension pot worth €810,793 by age 68.

That’s a substantial pot by any measure, and would enable you to take the maximum permitted tax-free lump sum of €200,000 on retirement.

What would that cost me?

Because of the tax benefits, the cost to you as a saver would be €1,200 per month in the early years.

That would rise to €1,600 in the years just before retirement to take full advantage of the tax break.  (See below for detailed assumptions on our calculations).

Where do I begin?

While it’s never too late to start a pension, now is a great time to consider your finances, and your provision for retirement as a whole.  There’s thinking to be done about your retirement, and your position today.

What does retirement look like?

Some key questions to ask yourself are:

When do I realistically plan to retire?  How much money will I need when I retire?

Will I receive the state pension?  And are there other assets I can use to fund my retirement, such as savings and investments, investment properties, or inheritances?

What’s my current position?

Secondly, it’s time to assess your current financial situation.

How much can I afford to contribute to my pension now?  And how much can I obtain from my employer?

Is there an opportunity to make some large one-off contributions to my pension plan?

What is the plan to clear any outstanding debts (for example, interest-only mortgages)?

Next steps

If you’re worried that it’s too late to start a pension, now is the time to act.  Moneycube can help you work through these and other questions, and devise a realistic plan to fund your retirement.


Note: key assumptions for €800k pension pot calculation:

  • Annual growth in funds: 4% after-charges
  • Salary of €80,000 with no raises
  • Maximum tax deductible contribution made each year

By investing €400 a month you could save €27,900 in 5 years

Using our "Picture your money" tool, you can find out how your money could work for you.

Start now It only takes a minute to get started

Note: This is an initial indication to help you picture your money. Remember that with investments it is not possible to know for certain what returns you will achieve. Please note the investment warnings at the bottom of the page. This is the approximate before-tax return on an investment which grew at 6% over 5 years.

How to start a pension in Ireland


Should you be doing more for your retirement? Our free ebook guides you through your pension options and answers the three big questions to get you on your way to a well-planned retirement. 

How to start a pension in Ireland