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The following was posted on the Revenue website recently in relation to a policy change affecting Buy Out Bonds (BOBs)

The purpose of this eBrief, which supersedes eBrief 72/11 of 28 November 2011 [1], is to advise of a policy change announced by the Minister for Finance on 22 June 2016, to the effect that individuals with a Buy-out Bond (BOB) that originated from a Defined Benefit pension scheme may, where benefits are taken on or after that date, access the Approved Retirement Fund (ARF) option in respect of the BOB in question.

As a result of this change, access to the ARF option will apply to benefits in respect of all BOBs with effect from 22 June 2016 regardless of whether the transfer value to the BOB comes from a Defined Contribution (DC) [2] or a Defined Benefit (DB) scheme and regardless of when the transfer occurs (i.e. whether before or from that date).

Notwithstanding the above change in respect of BOBs originating from DB schemes, it should be noted that the position regarding ARF access for DB main scheme benefits remains unchanged, i.e. such access is available to proprietary directors only.

Please refer to Chapter 23 – Approved Retirement Funds (PDF, 209KB) of the Pensions Tax and Duty Manual for full details.

[1] Prior to this policy change, the position, as set out in eBrief 72/11, was that access to the ARF option for BOBs originating from Defined Benefit schemes was confined to situations where the scheme member had the right to exercise the ARF option under the scheme rules prior to the date of transfer i.e. where he or she met the proprietary director test before the date of transfer.

[2] eBrief 56/14 extended, with effect from 26 May 2014, access to the “ARF option” in respect of main scheme transfers to BOBs from DC schemes regardless of when the transfer occurred.


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All the best,
The Team at Jefferson

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