Public and Civil Service Pensions

The Public and Civil Service Superannuation Pensions Schemes are compulsory for the vast majority of public and civil servants, whether employed in a temporary, part time or full time capacity.

Employees contribute at various levels to the scheme. In the main, most employees contribute at a rate of 6.5% of gross salary or 5% of gross salary (if D1/B1 PRSI contributor).

New employees to the sector since April 1995 (A1 PRSI) contribute on average 5% of gross salary to the scheme.

The civil and public sector pension scheme (known as the Superannuation Scheme) provides a guaranteed pension and gratuity (lump sum) at retirement. The amount of pension and lump sum will depend on two factors:

a)   Your pensionable remuneration (PR) based on your best three consecutive  years in the last 10 prior to retirement (soon to change to career averaging) and

b)   The number of years of pensionable service you have acquired throughout your working life

There are two methods provided in relation to topping up any shortfall in years of service:

Option A)         Notional Service Purchase (NSP’s)

Option B)         Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC’s), Public Service PRSA’s

The majority of employees are required to have 40 years full time equivalent pensionable service, in order to receive full benefits at retirement.

Certain professions can achieve full benefits with less than 40 years e.g. Psychiatric Nurses (entrants before 2004), Garda members (and certain other medical professions who can receive added years).

The maximum pension benefits that can be obtained from the Superannuation Scheme is normally (under scheme rules):

a)   Lump sum (tax free up to €200,000) of 1½ x final salary or Pensionable Remuneration

b)   Pension (potentially taxable) of ½ your final salary, or Pensionable Remuneration

NB:

  • In certain instances, some members may be able to achieve a greater lump sum or pension benefit under Revenue rules.

There are considerable spouse and dependent benefits payable (for the majority of members) in the event of death in service, or death in retirement.

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