Staff of Colleges of Education Pension Scheme

Please note that this is not a legal interpretation of the St. Angela's College Pension Scheme - this is a more user-friendly interpretation of same. The College accepts no liability for any error or misstatement contained within. Please refer to the text of the Pension Scheme to view more detailed information.
 

The Staff of Colleges of Education Pension Scheme Provides a wide range of benefits to pensionable employee’s including:

  • Tax free lump sum on retirement
  • Pension on retirement
  • Gratuity payable on the event of a members death in service
  • Spouses and Childrens pension payable on the event of a members death
  • Provision to pay lum sum and pension to pensionable employees who must retire early on the gounds of ill health
  • Preserved lump sum and pension benefit

The Staff of Colleges of Education Pension Scheme is a “Statutory Defined Benefit Scheme” in that the benefits payable to the scheme members are set out in the Scheme Rules/Statue (mainly the Local Government (Superannuation Scheme)(Consolidation) Scheme 1998) and, unlike a defined contribution scheme, benefits payable are not dependent on the performance of stock markets or investment returns.
Membership of the scheme includes compulsory membership of both the

  • Main scheme, and
  • The Spouses and Children Scheme

Membership to the scheme requires employee contributions to be deducted at source from your salary.  Contributions are based on which rate of PRSI you pay and are calculated as follows:

SchemeStaff Paying D Rate PRSIStaff Paying A Rate PRSI
Main Scheme 5% of Gross Pay 3.5% of Net Pay (Pension)
1.5% of Gross Pay (Lump Sum)
Spouses and Childrens Scheme 1.5% of Gross Pay 1.5% of Net pay

If you are unsure of your applicable rate of PRSI please refer to your payslip which denotes your specific rate of PRSI.

Generally ‘A Rate’ staff members are those who commenced employment in the public sector after 06/04/1995 and pay a higher rate of PRSI contributions.
Generally, ‘D Rate’ staff members are those who commenced employment in the public sector before 06/04/1995 and pay a lower rate of PRSI contributions.

Under the Scheme all **New Entrants joining the Scheme have;

  • A minimum retirement age of 65 years
  • No compulsory retirement age (subject to suitability and health requirements)
  • A minimum of 2 years' service is required for eligibility for benefits (no minimum service is required however for death in service benefit)

**New Entrants’ refer to a person who commences employment in the public sector on or after 01/04/2004 or a person who was serving in a public service body prior to 31/03/2004 and left such an office for a period of greater than 26 weeks before joining the service.

If you joined the public sector prior to 01/04/2004, and did not leave the for a period of greater than 26 weeks (as above) the members of the Scheme have;

    • A minimum retirement age of 65 years
    • No compulsory retirement age 
    • A minimum of 2 years' service is required for eligibility for benefits (no minimum service is required however for death in service benefit)

If you joined the public sector on or after 01/01/2013 or a person who was serving in the public sector and left for a period of greater than 26 weeks, you will then become a member of the Single Public Sector Pension Scheme.  Please refer to the Single Public Service Pension Scheme 2013 Booklet

Reckonable Service
Service reckonable for superannuation purposes consists of;

  1. Actual service given following admission to the scheme
  2. Actual service given prior to admission to the scheme
  3. Notional service which has been purchased
  4. Service which has been transferred from another pension scheme
  5. Added years because of early retirement due to permanent infirmity

Verification of Previous Service
Under the terms of our Scheme, previous service with other specified service organisations and public sector bodies may be transferred to the Colleges of Education Pension Scheme. See Public Sector Transfer Network List of Bodies
If a newly appointed staff member has prior service with any of these public sector bodies they should contact their previous employer(s) to verify this service and confirm whether contributions have or have not been paid for this service.
If the service in previous employment(s) was validated and paid for and the contributions retained by the authority this will be noted on the individual’s record and service recorded as reckonable for benefits purposes.
Previous verified service is segregated as:

  1. Whole-time Service
  2. Part-time/Flexible/Pro-rata Service

It is important to note that historically part-time service was not recognised as service for the purposes of pension entitlement.  However, from early 1990’s this position began to change with the introduction of numerous employment regulations and Acts ultimately culminating in the Protection of Workers (Part-Time Work) Act 2001 which eliminated any distinction between the terms and conditions of a Part-Time Worker against his/her whole-time counterpart and thereby permitted all par time hours worked to be reckonable for the purpose of pension service.

Refer to Circular 25/2008 – this C/L consolidated the position of all part-time service.

Cost of Purchasing Reckonable Previous Service:

(a)To purchase service where a refund of contributions was received for previous employment
An employee who is returning to work in the public sector after a previous resignation/break in service and where they took a refund of pension contributions for that previous service may opt/choose to buy back this service.
However, reckoning of such refunded service will be costed as follows;
Gross of amount of refund received plus compound interest at the following applicable rates
Compound Interest rates applicable for buy back of service where refund of contributions was received:

Service up to 31/12/1983 7% per annum
Service after 01/01/1984 6% per annum
Service from 14/11/2004 4% per annum

Tax relief is allowable on the interest element of the repayment only.

Repayment of previous pensionable service for which a refund of pension contributions was given is optional.
This option may be availed of in very limited circumstances.

(b)Class A PRSI Employees’ – Officer
Previous whole-time temporary service – this service is costed with reference to the salary and pensionable emoluments/allowances of the individual.**
The cost to a registered scheme member who is fully insured, paying Class A PRSI, to reckon a period or periods of previous whole-time service in an approved public sector body is as follows:
1.5% of full Pensionable earnings (towards Lump Sum Contributions) AND
3.5% of Net Pensionable earnings i.e. gross earnings less twice the rate of contributory state pension
AND
1.5% of Gross Pensionable earnings towards Spouses’ and Children’s Pension (For the purposes of buying back contributions, this may be by 1.5% additional deductions from salary or by deduction from Retirement Lump Sum at the rate of 1% of Retirement Salary for each year of service).
**Liabilities are usually calculated, at the latest, on the basis of a persons’ current salary at the end of the third month after appointment to a pensionable post.  If part-time; Pro-rata rules apply.

(c)Class D PRSI (Officer Grades appointed pre 06/04/1995)
The cost of purchasing previous whole-time service by a member who is not fully insured paying Class D PRSI (Officer who was appointed pre 06/04/2005), to reckon a period or periods of previous service in an approved public sector body is as follows:

  • Periods prior to 31/12/1985 - 2.5% aggregate salary plus the value of his/her emoluments recieved
  • Periods on or after 01/01/1986 - 5% aggregate salary plus the value of his/her emoluments recieved

The period of payback will be determined on a case-by-case basis and in line with the terms of the scheme.

(d)Reckoning Previous Part-Time Service
Part-Time Service – Class A Officer Grades
In the case where a Class A employee in an Officer Grade wishes to purchase periods of part-time previous service the following applies

  • Service prior to 27/05/1977 - where the hours worked were at least 18 hours per week
  • Service from 27/05/1977 to 31/08/2001 - where the hours worked were at least 10 hours per week

Back contributions payable for all part-time service prior to 01/09/2001 are costed with reference to the Pensionable Pay and State Pension Contributory rate at 20/12/2001 multiplied by the number of years in question.

  • Part-time Service from 01/09/2001 - no minimum threshold of hours applies i.e. all hours worked are reckonable for service

Notional Service Purchase Scheme

Where a staff member will not have potential service of 40 Years at their retirement age of 60/65 years of age i.e. full service, the facility exists within the Staff of Colleges of Education Pension Scheme Rules for employees’ to purchase notional years of service/additional pensionable service at full actuarial cost.
There are two methods of purchasing Notional Service;

  • By Periodic Deduction from salary/wages from next birthday until retirement age 

OR

  • By way of d=single lump sum payment (payment in this case must be made within 6 months of exercising this option, otherwise the option is invalid)

The additional service purchased is treated as actual service in calculating pension and lump sum entitlements, including spouses’ and children’s benefits.
The concept of notional service is to allow members of the scheme, subject to certain conditions, to purchase additional years of reckonable service thereby increasing their pension entitlement.
One of the key determining factors used to calculate a scheme members superannuation award at retirement is years of service.
The cost of purchasing notional service is calculated using actuarial rates which are based on a person’s age at their next birthday and the rate of PRSI a person pays i.e. Class A or Class D and whether membership of the Spouses’ and Children’s Scheme applies.

Some of the key points of the notional service scheme are highlighted below;

  • In order to purchase notional service you must have 9 years actual or potential service. This includes future potential service to retirement age or contract end date for fixed term workers, actual service i.e. service already given and service transferred to St. Angela's Pension Scheme from another approved Public Sector Body.
  • You may only purchase your shortfall of service to a maximum of 40 years' service at age 60 or 65 as appropriate.
  • Notional Service may be purchased with reference to age 60 or 65 only. Those members of the scheme who are deemed to be New Entrants (i.e. generally those who joined the public sector after 01/04/2004) can only purchase notional service with reference to age 65. The rates for purchasing to age of 60 are higher than those that apply to purchases to age 65 as purchases are made over a shorter period of time.

Notional Service may be purchase by lump sum or periodic deduction.

Lump Sum is the payment of one amount based on:

  • The persons salary at the time of purchase

AND

  • The rate based on their age next birthday and class of PRSI (A or D), and whether membership of the Spouses and Childrens Scheme applies

Staff my make one lump sum purchase in any calendar year subject to a minimum payment of 10% of annual full time salary (unless a lower amount is needed to provide for 40 years reckonable service).
Purchases by periodic payroll deduction are paid via deduction from salary. This deduction is a percentage therefore as a person’s salary increases the amount deducted will increase proportionately. An option to purchase service by periodic deduction may be made at the time up to age 63 years with reference to age 65 and up to age 58 with reference to age 60 subject to certain conditions.
In order to exercise the option to purchase notional service you must notify the pension section in writing clearly stating the option you wish to exercise i.e. the reference age and purchase method (either lump sum or periodic deduction).
If an employee purchases by either single payment of by periodic deduction and subsequently retires before age 60 (or age 65 for New Entrants), an actuarial reduction of their notional service credit will be made.
Please note that if you opt to purchase notional service and subsequently leave St. Angela’s College before the age at which you have agreed to purchase service until or you cease to make the periodic payments the amount of added years you will have purchased at retirement will be less than the amount you contracted to purchase initially.  This will reduce your benefits

Tax Relief
Tax relief is allowed on annual aggregate superannuation contributions as a percentage of a persons’ gross salary.  Tax relief is allowable from a minimum of 15% to a maximum of 40% of remuneration based on a person’s age.  Part of this tax relief is already applied to a person’s regular contribution to the pension scheme.  The balance may be utilised for repayment of contribution due for previous service, purchase of notional service or contributions to an AVC scheme or other authorised pension product.  Tax relief for purchases of notional service by periodic deduction is applied at source by for lump sum purchases the pension section will provide a statement of the cost of the purchase which the employee must submit to the Revenue.

Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC)
An AVC is an additional investment option made available to employees’ to enable them to make additional savings (outside of the occupational pension scheme) for retirement while receiving tax and PRSI relief on these savings.
You can make Additional Voluntary Contributions if the benefits that you will receive at retirement from your main scheme and any benefits retained from any employments are projected to be lower than the maximum allowed by Revenue.
Additional Voluntary Contributions is a private arrangement made by the employee independent from St. Angelas College with a Financial Services Company.  The payroll department can, however facilitate deductions from salary in respect of the AVC plan taken with the AVC provider.

Early Retirement/Cost Neutral Early Retirement
The Cost Neutral Early Retirement facility allows members of the pension scheme to retire from age 50 (or age 55 in the case of New Entrants) with actuarially reduced superannuation benefits.  This facility will be made available to serving staff and the option will be extended to staff who resigned with and entitlement to preserved superannuation benefits as and from 01/04/2004.
The benefits payable to a scheme member who opt to retire under this scheme at age 58 are illustrated in the example below.
Example: Retirement at age 58, Class D PRSI existing member
A person on Class D PRSI to whom a non-co-ordinated pension is payable, with a preservation age of 60, retires on his/her birthday.
Final Annual Salary: €50,000 Age: 58 Reckonable Service: 40 Years
Pension Benefits under Cost Neutral Early Retirement:

If opting to preserve benefitsIf availing of Cost Neutral Early Retirement
Due at age 60 (in 2 years) Due now
Lump Sum:  €75,000 €72,075 (reduced to 96.1%)
Annual Pension:  €25,000 €22,525 (reduced to 90.1%)
Calculation of preserved Lump Sum:  3/80 x 50,000 x 40 = €75,000
Calculation of preserved Pension:  1/80 x 5,000 x 40 = €25,000
Anybody who wishes to look into Cost Neutral Retirement as a possibility will have to liaise with the Finance Office directly by emailing pensions@stangelas.nuigalway.ie

Deatth in Service:
Where an employee (who is a registered member of the Pension Scheme) dies while in service, a death gratuity is payable to their legal representative.
The death gratuity payable is equal to the Lump Sum which would have been payable if the staff member had ceased to hold employment on the grounds of ill-health at the date of death.
OR
One year’s salary

Leaving/Resigning
This section addresses the impact that leaving/resigning from your position in St. Angela’s College will have on your Staff of Colleges of Education Pension Scheme Membership and applicable benefits where the member is;
Transferring to another Public Sector Body
OR
Leaving St. Angela’s College with greater than 2 years pensionable service
OR
Leaving St. Angela’s College with less than 2 years pensionable service

  1. Transferring to another Public Sector Body:
    If you are leaving/resigning from your current position to take up pensionable employment in another public sector organisation which is party to one of the public sector transfer schemes, you may apply to the pensions department of your new employment to have your pensionable service transferred to that organisation.
  2. Leaving with greater than 2 years pensionable service:
    If you are If you are leaving St. Angela’s having completed greater than 2 years pensionable service, your pension benefits will automatically be preserved.
    Where Pension benefits are preserved, the pension and lump sum will be payable to you on application from age 60 and age 65 for New Entrants.
    If an individual should become permanently infirm before attaining the age of 60/65, the preserved lump sum and pension may become payable from the date of infirmity, as determined by medical reports.
    Should a member with preserved benefits die before reaching their retirement age, a gratuity equivalent to the retirement lump sum is payable to that person’s estate.  Where the person was a member of the Spouses’ and Children’s pension scheme, a pension will also be payable to the surviving spouse/dependents.
    The preserved benefits will be based on Actual Pensionable Service and on the members retiring salary as increased by    reference to increases granted between the date of resignation and age 60 or (65 for New Entrants).
  • Leaving with less than 2 years Pensionable Service and do not intend to take up further reckonable employment

If you are leaving St. Angela’s with less than 2 years reckonable service, you may apply to your pension section for a refund of contributions paid less a deduction for tax.

Retirement due to ill health
Where an officer retires early because of permanent infirmity (which has been supported by medical records) the officer may be awarded added years:

  1. If actual service given > 5 years but < 10 years:  the actual service is doubled but cannot exceed the potential service to age 65 years of age.
    E.g. you are 60 years of age and have 8 years’ service – you would only be able to get another 5 years added to bring you to 65 and not the full additional 8 years.
  2. (a)  If actual service given is between 10 – 20 years:  increase the service up to a max of 20 years subject to the 65 years of age rule
    OR
    (b)  Increase by 6 2/3 (243 days) or by the years left to bring you up to age 60 whichever is the lesser.

    Whichever is more favourable (a) or (b) is the one that is applicable.

  3. If you have 20+ years:  The max you can get is 6 2/3 years to bring you to age 60.
    E.g.  If you are 55 years of age and have 20 years’ service – you can get another 5 years to get a total of 25 years to age 60.
    E.g. If you are 58 and have 20 years’ service you can add another 2 years to bring you to age 60.
    E.g.  If you are 45 with 21 years’ service you can get another 5 and 2/3 years because the max you can get too using this rule is 26 2/3 years.

What do you pay for these additional years?
You only pay S&C for the added years.  As the payment is deducted from the Lump Sum - the rate is always going to be 1%.
In addition, S&C will also have to be paid on potential years to age of retirement (if applicable) also at 1%.

Note re. the following FAQ's

This is not a legal interpretation of the St. Angela’s College Pension Scheme - this is a more user-friendly interpretation of same. The College accepts no liability for any error or misstatement contained within. Please refer to the text of the Pension Scheme to view more detailed information.

What Benefits does the Pension Scheme Provide?

The main benefits are:

  • Retirement Pension and Lump Sum
  • Death in service benefit
  • Early retirement due to permanent infirmity
  • Early retirement through cost neutral
  • Purchase of previous service
  • Purchase of notional service
  • Preserved benefit
  • Pro-rata integrated arrangements
  • Spouses’ and Children’s Pension

(Above benefits subject to the rules of the scheme)

Who is eligible to join the Scheme?

Virtually all staff, membership is compulsory for public servants appointed to relevant posts, from May 2008.

In the case of part-time employee, they must have an appropriate full-time Comparator.
Optional for: All existing part-time Academic and Support Staff serving when circular letter issued May 2008.

What factors are taken into account when determining benefits?

The benefits will depend upon the following factors:

  1. Your basic salary/wages
  2. Your pensionable allowances, if any
  3. Your service

Are contributions payable towards the benefits of the Scheme?

  • Class D Officer:
    Contributions are payable towards your own retirement pension and lump sum benefits at the rate of 5% of your salary and pensionable allowances.
    If applicable, additional contributions are payable at the rate of 1.5% of your salary and pensionable allowances towards the Spouses’ and Children’s Scheme.
  • Class A Officer:
    Contributions are payable at the rate of 1.5% of your full salary for lump sum benefits and at the rate of 3.5% of your full salary and pensionable allowances less twice the current rate of Social Welfare State Pension Contributory.
    If applicable, additional contributions are payable at the rate of your full salary and pensionable allowances less twice the current rate of Social Welfare State Pension Contributory towards the Spouses’ and Children’s Pension Scheme.

What are the contributions payable?

Employee earning €55,000
Class D: 
€55,000 x 6.5% = €3,575 per annum less tax (i.e. there is tax relief on pension contributions at the marginal rate of tax)
Class A: 
€55,000 - €24,034 x 5% = €1,548
€55,000 x 1.5% = €825
Total: €2,373 per annum less tax (i.e. there is tax relief on pension contributions at the marginal rate of tax)
Note: Class D employees pay higher rates of pension contributions, but they pay less PRSI at Class D, the reverse is true for Class A employees.

What service is reckonable for benefits?

Pensionable Service
Temporary Wholetime service which precedes Permanent Wholetime (i.e.) Pensionable Service
**Certain Part-time Service**
Certain other transferred service
Additional or added service allowed in certain circumstances
Certain service in respect of which you may receive a gratuity or a refund of contributions provided you made an appropriate repayment
**Part-time pensionable employee’s haver their service pro-rated to it’s full-time equivalent.  For example, a part-time employee who works 40% of the equivalent full-time hours over a period of 20 years will be credited with 8 years pensionable service when calculating retirement benefits, and the benefits are then calculated on the full-time equivalent pay.

On what rate of pay are benefits calculated?

In most cases benefits are based on basic salary/wages, plus any pensionable allowances, on the date of retirement or death.  If however you change grade (e.g. promotion) within the last 3 years of service, an average salary figure may be used.

When are benefits payable?

Retirement benefits can be paid at any time from the minimum retirement age up to the upper age limit subject to the appropriate service requirement.  For staff who joined the public sector prior to 01/04/2004 (and did not have a break in service of more than 26 consecutive weeks), the minimum retirement age is 60 years, and the upper limit is 65 years.  If you joined the public sector after this date your minimum retirement age is 65 with no maximum retirement age.

What rate of retirement pension and lump sum is payable?

Applicable for those earning over 3.333333 the State Pension Contributory
Currently €40,057

  • Lump Sum:              Salary x Service x 3/80
  • Annual Pension: 
    Class D Salary x Service x 1/80
    Class A (Salary – 2xSPC) x Service x 1/80
    SPC = State Pension Contributory
    Example:  Person on a Salary of €55,000 and with 40 years’ service
    Lump Sum:
    Class D €55,000 x 40 x 3/80 = €82,500
    Class A €55,000 x 40 x 3/80 = €82,500
    Annual Pension:
    Class D €55,000 x 40 x 1/80 = €27,500
    Class A (€55,000 – €24,034) x 40 x 1/80 = €15,483
    Plus State Pension Contributory = €12,017

What rate of retirement pension and lump sum is payable?

Applicable for those earning under 3.333333 the State Pension Contributory
Currently €40,057

  • Lump Sum:              Salary x Service x 3/80
  • Annual Pension:      Salary x Service x 1/200
    Example:       Person on a Salary of €37,339 and with 25 years’ service
    Lump Sum:
    Class A €37,339 x 25 x 3/80 = €35,005

    Annual Pension:
    Class A €37,339 x 25 x 1/200 = €4,667
    Plus State Pension Contributory = €12,017

    **There may be deductions from the Lump Sum payment e.g. any outstanding contributions due to reckon periods of service and contributions due to the Spouses’ and Children’s Scheme**

What is the position if I become too ill to continue employment?

  • Subject to certain conditions you may retire on ill-health grounds.
  • A pension and lump sum, calculated in the same way as an age retirement pension and lump sum, will be paid to you provided you have a minimum service requirement of 5 years.
    As well as your actual service you may be allowed an additional period of service.  This added service is calculated by reference to the length of your actual service and your age at the date of your retirement.

Can preserved benefits be payable earlier than 60/65?

If you are age 50, 55 in the case of New Entrants after 01/04/2004, and resign with an entitlement to preserved benefits, you may take early payment of those benefits in accordance with the terms of the Cost Neutral Early Retirement Scheme.  An actuarial reduction will apply in accordance with the terms of the scheme.

For how long is my pension paid?

Your pension is paid for the period of your lifetime.

Is there any provision for my pension to be increased to take account of inflation?

Yes. Your pension (or any Spouse’s and Children’s Pension, payable after your death) will generally be increased to take into account of increases in the pay of your former grade and is subject to overall government policy. We have seen pensions decreasing in the last number of years, as public sector pay scales have also decreased, therefore the opposite can also be true.

Are benefits reduced if I become re-employed by a public sector body after I retire or resign?

Lump Sum benefits are not affected by re-employment. However, your pay would be reduced to ensure that total pay and pension does not exceed the current equivalent of the pay you received on the date of retirement or resignation i.e. most recent payscale. This is called “abatement”.

What benefits would apply if I died in service?

  • Your legal personal representative would receive the greater of:
    One year’s reckonable pay (at the rate applicable on the date of your death) or,
    The lump sum that would have been paid to you had you retired on ill-health grounds on the date of your death
  • In addition to the above, if you are a member of the Spouses’ and Children’s Scheme, a pension will be payable to your spouse and any qualifying children.

What happens if I leave the service otherwise than by the reason of age of ill health?

  • You may qualify to transfer your service if you are taking up pensionable employment with another authority or organisation to which the pension can be transferred on a “knock for knock basis”
  • Any person resigning with less than 2 years reckonable service and does not take up pensionable employment within the public sector and the service is non-transferrable – is entitled to a refund of superannuation contributions
  • Any refund of superannuation contributions is subject to the relevant tax deductions.

How or when do I qualify for preserved benefits?

  • If you have 2 or more year’s pensionable service and you have not taken up pensionable employment elsewhere, it is compulsory to preserve your lump sum and pension benefits.  Preserved Benefits are payable on reaching age 60 (or 65 in the case of New Entrants after 01/04/2004).
  • You must apply in writing for payment of preserved benefits approaching your 60th/65th Birthday.  Benefits are based on your actual service at the date of resignation and uprated salary for the position held at your 60th (or 65th where applicable) birthday.
  • Preserved benefits can become payable earlier, if you fall ill, and are certified as permanently unfit, before the date you are due to retire. 
  • Should you die before reaching retirement age a preserved death gratuity will be payable to your legal representative.
  • If you take up a position with another organisation to which you are entitled to transfer your preserved service you may do so.

What happens to my preserved pension if I die before I reach retirement age?

Where a former employee with an entitlement to preserved benefits dies before age 60/65 a death gratuity, equal to the preserved lump sum is payable. Where a former employee was a member of the spouses’ and children’s scheme and leaves an eligible spouse and/or eligible children, the spouses’ pension and/or children’s pension(s), based on the member’s pensionable service are only payable. There is no additional or notional years in respect of potential service to age 65. Preserved pension rights for spouses’ and children’s benefits become effective on the date of death of the (former) scheme member.

Can I obtain a refund of my contributions in any circumstances?

  • Yes.  If you resign with less than 2 years’ service and do not take up pensionable employment with another authority you are entitled to a refund of superannuation contributions less appropriate tax deductions
  • If you receive a refund of your contributions and wish to buy back the service at a later stage, it may be a lot more expensive to do so.

What does transferred service mean?

Under the local government transfer of service arrangements you are able to transfer your service to a variety of public sector organisations such as the civil service, an Garda Siochana, the National and Secondary teaching sectors and certain other state and semi-state bodies.

How are benefits and contributions treated for income tax purposes?

  • Under the current rules, all lump sum payments are exempt from income tax
  • Pensions are subject to income tax, as normal pay
  • Contributions payable towards the pension scheme normally qualify for income tax relief subject to certain limits

What can I do if I have a shortfall in service?

  • You may purchase additional notional service at full actuarial cost.  Details of the cost of purchase and the limits on the amount of notional service you my purchase are available from your Pension Section.
  • Alternatively, you may wish to contribute to an Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVC) plan.  A number of union based AVC plans are administered by private companies and facilitated only by deduction through payroll; however this is outside the scope of the Pension/Payroll Section.

What is the spouses’ and Children’s Pension Scheme?

It is a scheme to provide pensions for the spouse and/or dependent children of a member who dies in service or after qualifying for a pension or preserved pension.

Can I leave the scheme?

No - Once you join the scheme you must remain in it, until you leave the employment or retire.

Who is registered as a "Child" for the purposes of the Scheme?

A person under 16 years of age or, if receiving full-time education or training, 22 years of age. No age limit applies where the child is incapable of maintaining her/himself because of mental or physical infirmity.

To whom are the children's pensions payable?

Children's pensions are normally paid to the spouse, depending on the age of the "child".

If my spouse dies what happens to the children's pension?

  • If there is one child under 16, or under 22 if receiving full-time education, or incapable of maintaining her/himself because of mental or physical infirmity, the pension increases from one-sixth of the amount of your pension to one-third.
  • If there are three or more such children the total amount of their pension remains unchanged.

If my spouse remarries, what happens to the pension and the children's pension?

  • The spouse’s pension stops.
  • The Pension Section may restore it if she/he again becomes a widow/widower or if compassionate grounds for so doing subsequently arise.
  • The child’s pension also stops unless the Pension Section confirm otherwise.

What happens to my pension if I get divorced or separated?

Your pension will only be affected by divorce or judicial separation if there is a pension adjustment order (PAO) in force apportioning some of the pension entitlements to the spouse of dependent children. Death gratuity and spouses’ pension entitlements may also be affected by a PAO. Where there is no PAO then benefits will be payable in accordance with the rules of the scheme. Arrangements for making PAO’s are primarily matters for the parties to the legal proceedings and the courts. Where an application for a PAO arises you should notify the Pension Section.

Are my Spouses and Children's Scheme contributions refunded if I remain unmarried throughout the time that the Scheme applies to me?

No

How are Spouses’ and Children’s pensions calculated?

  • If you die in service or after retirement on ill health grounds the Spouses’ and Children’s pensions will be calculated by reference to the pension you would have received had you continued in pensionable employment up to age 65.  In all other cases the Spouses’ and Children’s pensions will be calculated by reference to your actual pension entitlement.
  • Subject to the foregoing, pensions are calculated according to the following table:

    Details of Dependants

    Fraction of your pension payable

    Fraction of your pension payable

    Total Fraction of your pension

    Spouse

    One half

     

    One half

    Spouse and 1 child

    One half

    One-sixth

    Four-sixths

    Spouse and 2 children

    One half

    One-third

    Five-sixths

    Spouse and 3 or more children

    One half

    One half

    The whole

    1 child

     

    One-third

    One-third

    2 or more children

     

    One half

    One half

What benefits would apply if I died shortly after retirement?

In addition to the standard benefits payable in respect of the Spouse and eligible children, if at the time of your death the total pension received by you since your retirement, together with the amount of your retirement lump sum, amounts to less than one year's reckonable pay at the date of retirement, a sum equal to the deficiency will be paid to your legal person representative.

I am approaching retirement age – what do I do?

Apply to the Pension Section three months before proposed retirement.

I am taking unpaid leave, does this affect my pension?

Your reckonable service is reduced by the period of unpaid leave, thus reducing your final pension calculation.  You can buy this period of leave back as notional service.  Note: The cost of purchasing notional service will be considerably higher.  Please contact the pension section if you have any questions.

I have a query that is not covered by the above questions, who can I contact?

For any pension related queries, please contact the Finance Office.