For Irish people who chose to retire abroad, they now have the option to avoid the Irish pension levy, avoid Irish income tax, capital gains tax and make tax savings upon death with regards to your existing pensions. You can now avoid the new Irish tax on pensions via a transfer to a QROPS (Qualifying Overseas Pension Scheme). This is also known as the European Union Retirement Benefits Scheme (EURBS).
The new Irish pension levy (which started at an initial rate of 0.6% per year on pension fund assets) was announced last May in 2011 and is backdated to 1 January 2011. The Irish pension levy is targeted to raise €450m for the Irish Revenue Commissioners, every year, for at least the 4-year period 2011-2014. The Irish tax on pension payments applies to individual pension policies (“retirement annuity contracts”), company pension schemes, personal retirement bonds, (non-vested) PRSAs and buy-out bonds.
The new pensions levy is basically a tax on savings and