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What Public Service Pension Scheme am I a Member of? (Main Differences)

What Public Service Pension Scheme am I a Member of? (Main Differences)

We are often asked by clients: “What public service superannuation scheme am I a member of?” The answer depends on when you first joined the public service and started contributing to the pension scheme. But this is only half of the answer because it also depends on continuation of service. We meet a great deal of people who have pensionable service in more than one of the schemes. So, to help you to identify the main differences between the schemes, we felt it best to start with what is known as an “old entrant” and progress through the years.

1. Old Entrants to public service superannuation – Pre 31st March 2004

“Old entrants” are those who joined the public service before 31st March 2004. There are two distinct PRSI classes paid by this group. The biggest difference between the two schemes in this group is the PRSI contribution class. If you look at your payslip and see a “D”, then you are in the older, and many would say better scheme. The pension in retirement is based on “final salary”.

Public servants who joined the public service before 1 April 2004 have a compulsory retirement age of 70. Prior to 26 December 2018, this group had a compulsory retirement age of 65. However, the “normal retirement age” is 60.

1.1 If you joined service before 5th April 1995

  • You Pay a reduced rate of PRSI – Shown as “Class D” on payslips. You will not get the Contributory State Pension. However, your department/employer will pay up to half of your final salary as a pension. The exact amount will depend on service and age.
  • For most public servants, Normal Retirement Age (NRA) is 60 years of age but can leave at 50 on Cost Neutral Early Retirement.
  • Teachers can retire from 55 years of age, without an actuarial reduction, if they have 35 years’ service including training years.

1.2 If you joined service between 6th April 1995 and 31st March 2004

  • “Integrated” with social welfare, so pension is less, but it should end up being the same when Contributory State Pension (CSP) is paid. Public Servants employed during this time pay the “A Rate” of PRSI (full PRSI contributions). Therefore, they get the Contributory State Pension based on employment.
  • The relevant department will usually “supplement” the shortfall until Contributory State Pension kicks in (there are conditions around if and when the supplementary pension will be paid, and we can discuss this with you). In general, the supplementary pension will be paid from age 60.
  • Normal Retirement Age (NRA) is 60 years of age but can leave at 50 on Cost Neutral Early Retirement
  • Teachers can retire from 55 years of age, without an actuarial reduction, if they have 35 years’ service including training years.

2. New Entrants to public service superannuation – 1 April 2004 – 31st December 2012

Thankfully for this group, the pension in retirement is still based on “final salary”.

The Public Service Superannuation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2004 explains who is deemed to be a “new entrant”. In general terms, a new entrant to employment in the public service is a person who enters employment on or after 1 April 2004, (including employment in a temporary or fixed-term capacity, whether full-time or part-time), and either:

(1) has not previously served, (whether in a pensionable or non-pensionable capacity), in a public service body or a body listed in Schedule 1 of the Act, or

(2) has served, (whether in a pensionable or non-pensionable capacity), in such a body prior to 1 April 2004 but whose employment by the body terminated more than 26 weeks prior to new employment.

The biggest change saw the age of retirement move from 60 to 65 years of age. Public servants who joined the public service between 1 April 2004 and 31 December 2012 have no compulsory retirement age.

  • Integrated” with social welfare so pension is less but it should end up being the same when Contributory State Pension (CSP) is paid. Public Servants in employed during this time pay the “A Rate” of PRSI (full PRSI contributions) and therefore get the Contributory State Pension based on employment.
  • The relevant department will usually “supplement” the shortfall until Contributory State Pension kicks in (there are conditions around when the supplementary pension will be paid, and we can discuss this with you). In general, the supplementary pension will be paid from age 60. In general, the supplementary pension will be paid from age 60. In general, the supplementary pension will be paid from age 65.
  • Normal Retirement Age (NRA) is 65 years of age but can leave at 55 on Cost Neutral Early Retirement

 

3. The “Single Scheme” public service superannuation – Post 1st January 2013

The “Single Scheme” is a career averaging scheme, and so significantly differs from previous arrangements.

The Single Public Service Pension Scheme (Single Scheme) commenced with effect from 1 January 2013. All new entrants to pensionable public service employment who started on or after 1 January 2013 are, in general, members of the Single Public Service Pension Scheme (Single Scheme).

Public servants who joined the public service on or after 1 January 2013 have a compulsory retirement age of 70.

  • “Integrated” with social welfare and the employee is supposed to work until Contributory State Pension (CSP) age. There is no supplementary pension paid.
  • Normal Retirement Age (NRA) is 68 years of age but can leave after age 55 on Cost Neutral Early Retirement
  • The pension is based on career averaging. A% of Salary is banked each year and then all are added up at the end. Each year increases in line with CPI.

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Blog post contributed by Kieran Sammon, Operations Director, IPS Financial Advice

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2020-11-10T14:48:12+00:00 November 10th, 2020|News|

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