Recently joined the public service at 35 years of age. Trying to get my head around pension options/possibilities, and the possible option of one day being able to retire early, stop laughing! I know 68 is currently the retirement age which I can retire at, but if I want to finish up in work early, what do I need to do to retire early in light of fact that there appears to be absolutely no information available on ‘buying back of years’ for new entrants. I understand there is the possibility of retiring early on cost neutral basis, from 55 years of age. In the interim, how do I boost my pension pot? My only option is to take out a private AVC, and if feasible lob in up to 20% of my gross income annually? The way to calculate the max I can put into an AVC each year is to calculate 20% of my gross salary, and subtract my existing annual pension contribution at source, and the remaining amount in euros is the max of what I can put into the AVC annually? (The Single Service scheme says I can make an AVC to an AVC Personal Retirement Savings Account or a trade union-affiliated AVC Scheme). If I go with AVC option as notional service not an option, how do I make the contributions and claim tax back etc? Can I make monthly/weekly/or other regular contributions and get the tax rebate at the time, or must I make a lump sum payment at the end of the calendar year? To give an example, in a previous private sector employment, I made an AVC payment for 2016 in January 2017, and then some months after filled tax return for 2016 and got tax money back. Is this the way it should be done going forward. On salary protection, I’ve joined a trade union and in the blurb it says they provide a fund of X if sick once you are a member, so is this sufficient, or should take out Salary Protection/income protection from who?...What is the cost?......Any tax rebate? I’ve seen in previous posts, people say ‘I advise PS to get a PRSA-AVC from a discount broker, same funds, lower fees’, is there a list of these/costs/where to go? Thanks!