The following sections are applicable only to teachers in service prior to 1 Janurary, 2013 who have not broken service or become "single" scheme members under the terms of Circular 07/2013.
A teacher is in pensionable employment if s/he is employed in a permanent or temporary capacity in a national school. The DES has also commenced the deduction of pension contributions for substitute service from January 1, 2005.
Substitute service prior to 1 January 2005, may be credited for pension purposes following the payment by the teacher of superannuation contributions in respect of such previous service.
The Primary School Teachers' Pension Scheme is a contributory scheme. The basic average superannuation contribution is 5% of gross salary and allowances. Teachers who are members of the Spouses' and Children's Pension Scheme pay an additional contribution of 1.5% of gross salary and allowances.
Membership of the Spouses' and Children's Scheme determines what happens a teacher's pension following her/his death either in service or after retirement. All teachers are not members of the Spouses' and Children's Scheme. Membership of this scheme has been compulsory for all male teachers appointed in a permanent or temporary capacity since 1 July 1969. Membership of the scheme is compulsory for all female national school teachers appointed in a permanent or temporary capacity on or after 1 June 1981.
However, teachers in service prior to these dates - 1 July 1969 (men), 1 June 1981 (women) - were given the opportunity of opting out of the scheme. Members who opted out of the scheme continue to pay contributions at an average rate of 5% of gross salary for the general pension scheme.
Teachers who opted out of the Spouses' and Children's Pension Scheme are not covered for benefit under the terms of the scheme.
Revised Spouses' and Children's Pension Scheme
Click here to link to DES circular PEN 14/05 Revision of the Spouses' and Children's Pension Scheme Option to join the Revised Scheme
A revised option to join the Spouses' and Children's Pension Scheme was extended to the women who opted out of the scheme at the time of the original option in 1981. (The scheme became compulsory for all women who commenced teaching since 1 November 1981).
The DES confirmed to the INTO that all primary (and secondary) teachers in service on or after 1 April 2004 had the option to join the Revised Spouses' and Children's Pension Scheme.
The contribution rate that applied to the revised offer was as follows:
- Periodic Contributions: 2% of salary;
- Deductions in respect of service prior to joining the scheme: 1.5% of final salary per outstanding year.
In summary, teachers either pay either 5% or 6.5% (members of the Spouses' and Children's scheme) of gross salary and allowances in pension contributions.