Starting PRSA when you already have defined contribution pension and public sector pension contributions


Registered User
I'm looking to get up to speed with pensions and know what I need to do now to have comfortable retirement (or retire early!).

I think my situation is bit less straight forward because my pension will be a mix of PRSA, defined contribution and public sector.

I had a consultation with a financial advisor about my pension (and general financial advice).

I was happy with the advice. It seemed wise and sensible in relation to risk and a long term strategy.

I expected to pay them for their advice but was told they'd be paid a fee from elsewhere and that their service to me is free.

Their documentation (which I haven't signed) doesn't make clear how they get paid or how much commission/on going charges to my pension they charge.

I'm a bit concerned about my own ignorance at how the pension world works.

My situation:

I'm 38 years old.

My pension is a bit more complex because I've moved around a lot.

I have worked for approx 6 years in the public sector (on modest wages) and accrued pension entitlement for this time.

I (and my former employer) contributed for 3 years to a defined contribution occupational pension scheme in the private sector.

I invested in three different New Ireland equity funds (through Willis Towers Watson).

The equity funds are Discovery Fund, Pen Passive Multi-Asset, Indexed All Equity Fund.

The total value of this fund at 1 August 2019 was approx €35k. (No more contributions were made after this point)

I have recently started full time employment again. My new employer offers a PRSA scheme but makes no contributions.

I want to get on track with my pension and am happy to contribute 20% of my salary (approx €19,000 pa) to make up for lost time.

In terms of overall financial circumstances: my mortgage has €205,000 outstanding on it (tracker mortgage currently at 0.8%). 13 years into a 35 year term. Between shares and cash, I have €90,000 in savings.

How do I figure out the combined value of my public service pension and defined contribution occupational pension?

How do I use this information to figure out how far behind I am in my pension journey and what I need to do to get back on track.

What are Willis Towers Watson doing for me in relation to my New Ireland defined contribution pension. What are they charging me, what are new Ireland charging me and are all these charges really necessary?

Do I leave the €35k defined contribution pension where it is or should I move it to a PRSA and start making additional contributions to that fund?

How do I find a financial advisor whose only financial incentive is to get me the best deal?

Should I avoid all advisors/brokers and figure out how to do this myself? How!!