MONEY MATTERS: This week, DD’s Finance columnist Shona Chambers from John McColgan Financial Services explains how you might qualify for tax relief on your life assurance premiums.
‘Did you know that you might qualify for tax relief on your life assurance premiums?’ I asked a client of mine last week. With the tax deadline almost upon us again, I knew she would like to find another way of paying less tax.
Pension Term Assurance is a great alternative to a level term assurance policy with the added benefit of tax relief available on premiums paid.
As I explained to my client, you may qualify for this kind of cover if you are self-employed or if you’re not included in your company pension plan.
The life cover is designed to last until you retire, usually age 65. At that point, you have the option to convert your policy into a new life cover policy, for the same lump sum, without providing medical evidence. That new policy will expire when you turn 75. You cannot extend cover past age 75.
You can take out Pension Term Assurance policy if you are sole trader or if you are not covered by a company pension scheme. You can use it to protect your family in the same way as a traditional level term assurance policy. However with the added benefit of tax relief, you will pay less for your cover.
If you are a sole trader operating in a partnership, you may set up this kind of policy to compensate for the loss of entitlement to any goodwill payment on death as part of a partnership agreement.
Under Revenue rules, there is a limit to how much of your earnings qualify for tax relief, depending on your age. The limit starts at 15% of your earnings if you are under 30, and goes up to 40% if you are over 60. If you already contribute to a pension plan, your tax relief limits will apply to your pension contributions and life insurance premiums combined.
You are entitled to tax relief at your marginal rate of tax. This means that if you are in the lower tax bracket, you can claim relief at 20%, but if you are in the higher bracket, you can claim relief at 40%. This means that a policy with a premium of €40 per month would cost just €32 on the lower tax bracket, and €24 per month on the higher tax bracket.
If you qualify for Personal Pension Term Assurance, you can explore your options further by talking to your financial advisor. With premiums starting at €15 per month depending on age health etc. it’s a great way to get peace of mind and security for your loved ones, while also saving money by way of generous tax reliefs.
Shona Chambers QFA RPA is a Qualified Financial Advisor with John McColgan Financial Services Ltd.
You can contact Shona by phone or email on firstname.lastname@example.org