Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Personal Fund Thresholds - Revenue deadline looming...

In accordance with Section 787P(2), Taxes Consolidation Act 1997, anyone with pension benefits with a capital value of over €2.3 million at 7/12/2010 has until 7/6/2011 to apply for a Personal Fund Threshold (PFT) Certificate. Anyone who misses this deadline faces substantial additional taxation when they retire. Bearing in mind that an application for a PFT Certificate involves gathering details of all pension arrangements, often from a variety of sources, anyone who needs a PFT Certificate should be taking action now.

Worryingly, in this Irish Times piece, Dominic Coyle tells us that by April 8th, only 144 enquiries had been received by Revenue on this topic, out of an estimated 6,000 affected people.

Who does this affect?

While the figure of €2.3 million might seem enormous, don't forget that this is the capital value of a pension fund. So you don't have to be a multi-millionaire to fall into this category. Here's a few examples: -

• Anyone in a Defined Benefit pension scheme with an expectation of a pension of €115,000 per year or more, before lump sum entitlements.

• Any Public Servants with an expectation of a pension of €100,000 per year or more.

• Anyone in either of the above categories with a lower pension entitlement but with additional pension funds from other sources, e.g. AVCs, RACs, pensions from previous employments etc.

• Anyone with Defined Contribution pension funds totalling more than €2.3 million at 7/12/2010.

What happens if the June deadline is missed?

After 7/6/2011, anyone who retires with pension benefits with a capital value of greater than €2.3 million, who does not have a PFT Certificate, will be taxed on the excess over €2.3 million at 41%. This is an additional tax, over and above the normal taxes that will apply to drawdown of pension funds. So an individual who retires with a pension fund of €3 million and no PFT Certificate will pay €287,000 in tax before drawing their pension benefits in the normal way.

How can we help?

We can gather the required information from the various pension schemes, calculate the capital value of pension benefits in Defined Benefit and Public Sector schemes, calculate the Personal Fund Threshold and prepare the application for submission.