The following sections apply to teachers in service prior to 1 January 2013 only. Teachers who commenced service on or after the 1st January 2013, or who have resumed service since then after a period of 26 weeks (other than approved leave) should refer to information within the Public Service Pension (Single Scheme) Act of 2012. (Summary available here)
For teachers in service prior to 1 January 2013 there are two categories applicable, old entrants and new entrants:
Old Entrants: Teachers who entered service prior to 1st April 2004 and have not had a break in service (other than approved leave).
New Entrants: Teachers who entered service on or after the 1st April 2004, or who have resumed service since then, after a period of 26 weeks (other than approved leave).
Pension Scheme Benefit Summary (applicable to old and new entrants)
Teachers contributing 5% of gross salary and allowances to the Primary School Teachers' Pension Scheme are providing for one of the following:
- payment of a pension and lump sum on retirement; or
- payment of a disability pension and lump sum in the case of early retirement on the grounds of ill-health; or
- payment of a lump sum to the estate of a teacher who dies in service (death gratuity); or
- entitlement, in certain circumstances, to a deferred pension and lump sum at age 60/65; or
- entitlement to transfer pension rights to an organization participating in the Transfer Scheme.
Membership of the Spouses' and Children's Pension Scheme provides for an additional benefit:
- the payment of a pension to a surviving spouse and/or eligible children following death (either in service or following retirement). Click here for further information on this item.
Please note: The Pension Related Deduction (PRD) is a government levy and is not a contribution to the pension scheme.
Compulsory Retirement (Old entrants)
Pension and lump sum are paid to a teacher when s/he retires on compulsory grounds, i.e. on reaching the age of 70 years.
The extension to the compulsory retirement age from 65 to 70 came about as a result of the Public Service Superannuation (Age of Retirement) Act 2018, which was enacted on and came into immediate effect from 26 December 2018. The Act provides for an increase in the compulsory retirement age of most public servants, recruited prior to 1 April 2004, from age 65 to age 70. The Act, however, does not detract from or terminate any of the existing voluntary retirement options available to teachers from age 55 onwards or at age 60.
Teachers who are due to retire on compulsory grounds are not required to give three months' notice to their boards of management. However, most teachers do notify their boards of management of their intention to retire.
Voluntary Retirement (Old entrants)
- Teachers may retire voluntarily and be awarded a pension and lump sum provided they have given the required number of years of pensionable service based on their pre-service training and have also reached the age of 55 years. The pensionable service requirement for the completed pre-service training is as follows: 2 years training = 35 years’ service; 3 years training = 34 years’ service; 4 years or more = 33 years’ service. (Please note, no “added years” are given for completing 3 or more years pre-service training.)
- Teachers who have given at least five years of pensionable service may retire, with a pension and lump sum on or after reaching their 60th birthday.
- Teachers seeking to retire who do not meet the criteria above will retire under the terms of a Cost Neutral Early Retirement (Click here for further information on Cost Neutral Early Retirement).
- Teachers who retire voluntarily are required by the terms of their contracts to give three months' notice to the board of management and one month's notice to the Inspector.
Voluntary Retirement (New entrants)
Voluntary retirement options are no longer available for this group of teachers other than Cost Neutral Early Retirement (Click here for further information on Cost Neutral Early Retirement). Furthermore, they are not obliged to retire on age grounds. See Section 2 of the Public Service Superannuation (Misc. Provisions) Act, 2004. See also DES Circular 10/04.
Preserved Benefits (applicable to old and new entrants)
The following is a summary of the scheme of preserved pension benefits:
- If a national teacher resigns voluntarily from the service, but without immediate entitlement to a pension and lump sum, s/he may preserve her/his pension rights provided s/he has at least two years of pensionable service. This means that if pension contributions are not withdrawn, an annual pension and lump sum will become payable when the teacher reaches 60/65* years of age following application to the Department of Education and Skills.
- Pension and lump sum will be calculated as for compulsory and voluntary retirement. Furthermore, for calculation purposes, retiring salary will be determined with reference to the salary scales in operation at the time the teacher reaches 60/65 years of age.
- Preserved benefit applies only where some pensionable teaching service is given after 30 June 1977. Teachers who are entitled to a preserved pension and lump sum should apply three months prior to their 60/65th birthday, to the Department of Education and Skills to claim benefit.
- Where a teacher, having left the service with entitlement to preserved benefits dies before reaching 60/65 years of age, a preserved death gratuity is payable to her/his legal personal representative on application to the Department. Letters of Administration or Grant of Probate of Will must be produced. The preserved death gratuity will be based on the teacher's pensionable service only (i.e. the minimum of one year’s annual salary that applies in the case of death in service will not apply). For calculation purposes 'retiring salary' is updated to its equivalent value at the date of the teacher’s death.
- Should the teacher have been a member of the Spouses' and Children's Pension Scheme, benefit may be payable in accordance with the terms of the scheme. The spouse's and/or children's pension will be based on the teacher's actual pensionable service only.
*Due to the adoption of Circular 10/04 the superannuation terms for new entrants to the public service appointed on or after 1 April 2004 altered the retirement age/preserved benefits to age 65 only.
Updated April 2019