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What is a Self Administered Approved Retirement Fund (ARF)?

The Praxis Plan is a Self Administered Approved Retirement Fund (ARF).

What is an Approved Retirement Fund? 

An ARF is a special investment fund which can give flexibility in terms of how you use your retirement fund. With an ARF you re-invest your retirement fund and take the money out as you need it. The Praxis Plan allows you to  take control over where these funds are invested. An ARF is provided by a Qualifying Fund Manager (QFM) such as Harvest Financial Services Limited (HFS).

What are the benefits an Approved Retirement Fund (ARF) ?

The Praxis Plan provides a variety of benefits to you in retirement:

  • you have access to a wide variety of investment options and providers;
  • you can invest your funds in investments that fit your risk appetite;
  • your investments grow free of both income tax and capital gains tax;
  • you choose when to withdraw funds from your ARF and how much you take*; and
  • on death, your Praxis Plan can pass to your estate.

*How do I take income from an Approved Retirement Fund?

You are required by the Revenue Commissioners to take a minimum distribution from your ARF annually once you are over age 60 for a whole tax year. This can be paid monthly, quarterly or annually. You can also  make withdrawals from your ARF as needed, subject to statutory deductions. Appropriate statutory deductions are deducted on withdrawals from your ARF by HFS as the QFM.

With effect from the 1st of January 2015 the minimum distributions from the Praxis Plan once you are over age 60 for a whole tax year are as follows:

  • 4% if you are not aged 70 years or over for the whole of the tax year and the value of your ARF is less than €2,000,000;
  • 5% if you are aged 70 years or over for the whole of the tax year and the value of your ARF is less than €2,000,000; and
  • 6% if the value of your ARF exceeds €2,000,000.

If you do not take a distribution in any given tax year there will be a tax bill due from your ARF. This is remitted in February of the following year for the imputed tax due on 4% / 5% / 6% of your ARF and based on the value as at the preceding 30th of November. There would be no income receivable on this amount, but the QFM will deduct and remit appropriate statutory deductions due. As your ARF will have already paid tax on this amount and you never received any income a double taxation situation arises. It is therefore advisable for you, where possible, to take an actual distribution of at least the minimum required amount annually.

What happens to the Approved Retirement Fund (ARF) when I die?

On your death your Praxis Plan can be transferred to your spouse / civil partner tax-free who can continue to manage the Praxis Plan investments and make withdrawals from the Praxis Plan. Alternatively your Praxis Plan can be left to your children or other persons subject to income and / or inheritance tax.

ARF Inherited by…… Income Tax Due Capital Acquisitions
Tax Due
Surviving Spouse None, where transferred into an ARF of surviving spouse.

Yes, if not transferred to ARF to survivor’s spouse. This will be treated as a taxable distribution by the deceased in the year of his/her death.

Child aged 21+ at date of death Yes. Income Tax at rate of 30% None
Child aged less than 21 at date of death None Yes, normal inheritance tax rules apply.
Anyone else
(not surviving spouse or children)
Yes. This will be treated as a taxable distribution by the deceased in year of his/her death. Yes, normal inheritance tax rules apply.

What can I invest my Approved Retirement Fund in?

The investment choice is ultimately down to you, subject to certain Revenue rules.  Some of the assets HFS clients invest in are:

  • property (ungeared);
  • personalised equity portfolios;
  • corporate and government bonds;
  • international funds;
  • private equity; and
  • deposits.

Why set up an Approved Retirement Fund?

HFS has been providing self administered retirement solutions to clients since 1993. We oversee approximately €1 billion assets on behalf of our clients who are pension funds, private individuals, corporations and charities. (figure correct as at November 2017). Harvest Financial Services is uniquely positioned  to  provide  you  with the broadest possible range of investment options.

Whether you want the investment flexibility and / or the cost transparency of the Praxis Plan, HFS will work with you to maximize the benefits of the Praxis Plan to secure your income in retirement. For more information, or to arrange a meeting to discuss the suitability of the Praxis Plan for your retirement provision needs, please contact us  on 01 2375500 or  email

ARF or Annuity – which option might suit you best?

The Harvest Advisory ARF is an innovative post retirement investment solution.

Warnings: If you invest in this product you may lose some or all of the money you invest. If you invest in this product you will not have any access to your money until you retire. The value of your investment my go down as well as up.

Unless the remaining capital grows at a rate at least equal to the rate of regular withdrawals, the investor’s capital will be reduced and could eventually be exhausted all together.

The information contained herein is based on Harvest Financial Services Limited’s understanding of current Revenue practice as at October 2015 and may change in the future.

Please take special care to satisfy yourself that this arrangement meets your needs. Please make sure that you are aware of the financial consequences of replacing your existing arrangement and the possible financial loss as a result of the transfer. Please note that transfers to circumvent Revenue rules are not permissible. Please contact your financial advisor if you are in doubt about any of this. The material is not intended to provide advice and is provided for general information purposes only.

The product and/or services described herein are not violable for distribution to, or investment by, US residents or citizens. The product and / or services may not be directly or indirectly offered or sold to the USA or any of its territories or possessions or areas subject to its jurisdiction or to or for the benefit of a US person.

Please note that the provision of this product or service does not require licensing, authorisation, or registration with the Central Bank of Ireland and, as a result, it is not covered by the Central Bank’s requirements designed to protect consumers or by a statutory compensation scheme.

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