Self-Directed PRSA options - advice needed

I’m looking at starting a Non-standard PRSA (i.e. invest myself).

I do have a Degiro account but for a PRSA I think you must put them through a PRSA client, so Davy, Zurich, etc?

Any advice on who to use, fees, etc?

Why a prsa? PP or EPP would have lower charges, higher allocation.

Life companies have lowest charges to start.(Aviva Zurich etc) Then transfer to a SSAS(ind trustee) once you have the funds to make it worthwhile

I already have a public service pension and an AVC, but can’t touch them til 65.

Hoping to retire before 60 so can plan is to access a PRSA and use that til 65

Can access a Personal Pension from 60.

If you plan on utilising this from 60 as sole source of income, going down the 25% TFLS and arf/amrf(first 63500 restricted to a 4% drawdown) route. Are you going to continue funding the AVC? Doesnt make sense to.

I dont see the value in a PRSA over a PP if your employer is not making contributions, higher charges for essentially the same product.

Whats the investment goal? Gear up and buy a property? Or just equities?

I’m 36 now so the 20 year plan currently is

PRSA - I believe you can drawdown from a PRSA from 50 if you have retired from employment
Investment Savings - already set up. Subject to 41% exit tax

Also likely to have some inheritance by then and the missus loves her job

My public service pension kicks in and the AVC topping up the tax free lump sum side

On the investment goal, a BTL was the idea but I’ve gone off it.
For the PRSA I’d mostly be looking at ETFs.
Could also change my current AVC to a PRSA AVC if I wanted to manage it myself.

I have an AVC one with Davy. I realised that I was putting money into shares on Degiro for eventual retirement purposes anyhow so it made more sense. That and my company pension has absolutely awful returns.
I stopped my AVC’s to the company pension and now put them into the Davy AVC PRSA and usually buy an ETF or trust fund every month (no deemed disposal etc on ETF’s in an AVC PRSA). No complaints so far, claiming back tax is a bit of a rigmarole (i’m funding it from after tax income) but once done a couple of times its OK, i do it in quarterly batches, probably switching to bi-annually or annually in the future.

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Again, I’d compare allocation rates and charges, but afaik no PRSA on the market is cheaper than a PP. You can invest in ETFs etc through one the same as a PRSA. PRSA average minimum AMC of 1.25+% p/a over 26 years adds up. Especially as you are investing in a passive vehicle, I’d resent paying it!

Yes, early access from a PRSA is avail from 50, but if your retirement goal is 60, is the extra AMC/Allocation messing about with a PRSA worth it?

Investment savings, great for saving for a property short term(8-10 years etc), any longer, why not put the funds into a pension?

Why not set up an EPP? Cheaper, same options as a AVC PRSA, all done at source unlike a PRSA.

Because effectively the EPP gives me about 1% return at best a year historically, yes really, or maximum 40% if you include the tax benefit, which the PRSA also gives me anyhow, many many trust funds far far exceed that.

“Because effectively the EPP gives me about 1% return at best a year historically,”

An EPP doesnt create returns, it is just the pension structure? An EPP is cheaper, if you invest in the same index and compare PRSA -v- EPP you will end up ahead in the EPP by dint of its lower charges. Based on average AMC’s you are ahead half a percent p/a.

I can’t go with the EPP route as hoping to draw down in my 50s, so it seems PRSA is my only option.

Knowing that, who to go with is the next quesiton? Davy, Zurich, etc?

Do you want to trade or just ETF’s/standard stuff. If you want to pick your own stocks from memory Aviva through Cantor are quite competitive/user friendly, ditto Standard Life on an execution only basis.

I would avoid Davy as I think their PRSA fees average 1.5 - 1.75%(I’m open to correction). Whereas majority of Life co’s offer a flat 1-1.25% and 100% allocation if you request it(&just pay the advisor separate if applicable).

For a flat rate prsa, in say an American Equity ETF, Aviva is as good as any. Zurich would tend to match them. Standard life offer Vanguard on their “fund list”. So really its just a case of marrying the provider with your investment choice.

1)find out flat fee
2)allocation rate
3)is fund choice on their platform or is it extra AMC.

Job done.


[quote=“thehammer, post:12, topic:89183, full:true”]
Do you want to trade or just ETF’s/standard stuff.[/quote]

Thanks for the info. Just ETFs/Standard stuff via PRSA.

Checked Standard Life and they don’t allow ETFs for their self-directed PRSA product! (page 12)

Aviva also do not seem to have a self-directed PRSA product!

Zurich mention a Personal Portfolio Fund PRSA option that seems to fit the bill but it’s not very clear. I’ll give them a shout

Davy offering is is here

Davy Execution only PRSA fees are
0.75% of account balance annually +
0.06% per trade if not on Irish/UK exchange + €25 per trade if not on Irish/UK exchange
1% per trade Stamp Duty (Irish domiciled)

Cantor Fitzgerald offering is is here

Cantor Execution only PRSA fees are
1.25% of account balance annually if bal under 100K. Charge drops if balance is higher +
€40 per trade if on Irish/UK exchange or €60 per trade if not on Irish/UK exchange
1% per trade Stamp Duty (Irish domiciled)

Hmm, dont think we are comparing apples.
My EPP is with Mercer and you choose one or more of their investment mixes, which in my experience have absolutely woeful performance (circa <1% pa over the last 20 odd years I’ve been with them) and relatively high management charges.
With Davy its 0.75% management charges P/A and as long as I buy on the UK or Irish stock exchange its free barring stamp. I get to choose whatever I like on the stock market which in my case thats mostly trust funds such as Scottish Mortgage ,Monks etc, but i can also buy ETFs there too if I wish without the onorous tax rules on disposal if i bought them outside the PRSA structure like on Degiro for example. Am i missing some other benefit from keeping the AVC’s with my pension scheme that would beat the above?

Ah, we are. I have a standalone EPP with an independent trustee and invest in an Invesco MSCI USA ETF, minimum charges of .05%, but works out at just under .075% in the real world(due to their fee minimum).

Previously I had one with Zurich, same ETF, flat fee of .75%, I transferred as I intend on gearing and buying property through it in the future and want to get in before IROPS stops it.

Tbh, I know of Mercer from their occupational and DB schemes, but didnt know they dealt with private clients.

Came across this handy list of PRSA providers made by the Pensions Authority, March 2021

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