Pension – New Entrant Pension Scheme

New Entrant Pension Scheme 

Teachers who entered service from 1 April 2004 and prior to 1 January 2013 are members of the new entrant pension scheme.

Teachers who entered teaching prior to April 2004 but had a 26-week break in service and returned to teaching between April 2004 and 31 December 2012 are members of the new entrant pension scheme.

Any teacher who commenced service on or after the 1st January 2013, or who resumed service since then after a period of 26 weeks where they did not work for the Department of Education or Public Sector (other than approved leave) are members of the Single Public Service Pension Scheme and should refer to this webpage.

Updated August 2023

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
  • Payment of a disability pension and lump sum in the case of early retirement on the grounds of ill-health
  • Payment of a lump sum to the estate of a teacher who dies in service (death gratuity)
  • Entitlement, in certain circumstances, to a deferred pension and lump sum at age 65
  • Entitlement to transfer pension rights to an organisation 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).Please note: The Additional Superannuation Contribution (ASC) is a government levy and is not a contribution to the pension scheme.

There is no compulsory retirement age for members of the New Entrant Pension Scheme. Members are not obliged to retire on age grounds. See Section 2 of the Public Service Superannuation (Misc. Provisions) Act, 2004. See also DE Circular 10/04 (PDF).
There is no voluntary retirement option for members of the New Entrant Pension Scheme other than Cost Neutral Early Retirement (Word). Furthermore, they are not obliged to retire on age grounds.
Teachers seeking to retire who have not reached the normal retirement age for the New Entrant Pension Scheme (65) but who have pensionable service, will retire under the terms of a Cost Neutral Early Retirement. Read more on Cost Neutral Early Retirement here.

Circular PEN07/05 outlines how Cost Neutral Early Retirement is calculated for the New Entrant Pension Scheme. Retiring on a cost neutral basis means that a teacher’s pension will be actuarially reduced to take into account the early payment of lump sum and the longer period over which pension will be paid. The Department of Education spreads out the pension over more years.

For example, if a new entrant teacher retired at age 59 on a cost neutral basis, they will get 71% of their pension and 89% of their lump sum for their pensionable years.

Where a teacher has Class A PRSI contributions and retires on Cost Neutral Early Retirement, the Department will not pay out any Supplementary Pension until the teacher reaches the normal retirement age of their pension scheme (65). The Department will, when you reach the retirement age of your pension scheme, then pay out the Supplementary Pension up until age 66, the current State retirement age.

The following is a summary of the scheme of preserved pension benefits:

  • If a teacher resigns voluntarily from the service, but without immediate entitlement to a pension and lump sum, they may preserve their pension rights provided they have 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 65 years of age following application to the Department of Education.
  • Pension and lump sum will be calculated as for ordinary retirement under the New Entrant Pension Scheme. Furthermore, for calculation purposes, retiring salary will be determined with reference to the salary scales in operation at the time the teacher reaches 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 65th birthday, to the Department of Education to claim benefit.
  • Where a teacher, having left the service with entitlement to preserved benefits dies before reaching 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 (ie 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.

Calculation of Pension for Compulsory and Voluntary Early Retirement (Not Cost Neutral Early Retirement)

Pension and lump sum are calculated on the basis of ‘retiring salary’. ‘Retiring salary’ means, (in relation to a teacher), the sum of:

  • The annual rate of scale salary on the last day of pensionable service; and
  • The annual rate of any allowance payable on the last day of pensionable service, if:
    • The teacher dies in service more than three years before their compulsory retirement date, or
    • The teacher retires on grounds of disability before the earliest date at which they would be eligible for pension on voluntary retiral, or
    • The teacher has held the allowance for the last three years of pensionable service, and during that period there has not been an increase or decrease in the allowance payable to them due to a change in posts, or a change in the grading of a post, or the gain or loss of an allowance.
    • In the case of an allowance to which the provisions of the second clause above do not apply, an amount calculated by dividing by 1095 the annual rate of that allowance and multiplying the result by the number of days on which the teacher held the allowance during the last three years of pensionable service.

Pension is calculated at the rate of one eightieth of retiring salary for each year of pensionable service at the date of retirement subject to a maximum of 40 years. For example, a teacher on a ‘retiring salary’ of €60,000 with 40 years’ contributions to the scheme, will receive an annual pension of €30,000 (ie 1/80th of €60,000 x 40).

A teacher on the same salary with 35 years’ pensionable service will receive an annual pension of €26,250 (i.e. 1/80th of €60,000 x 35).

Pensions are deemed to be income and as such are subject to income tax.

Retired teachers’ pensions increase in line with salary increases awarded to serving teachers.

Lump sum is calculated at the rate of three eightieths of retiring salary for each year of pensionable service at the date of retirement, subject to a maximum of 40 years.

For example, a teacher on a retiring salary of €60,000 with 40 years’ or more contributions to the scheme will receive a lump sum of €90,000 (i.e. 3/80ths of €60,000 x 40).

A teacher on the same salary with 35 years’ pensionable service will receive a lump sum of €78,750 (i.e. 3/80ths of €60,000 x 35).

The lump sum payable on retirement is not subject to income tax.


PRSI and Pension –

On retirement members with Class D PRSI contributions only, have no entitlement to a state pension benefit and will receive their pension in full through the Department of Education.

Members who have Class A contributions, or a mix of Class A and Class D may have an entitlement to the State Pension from the state pension age (currently 66) or to Job Seeker’s Benefit/Age 65 Benefit if they retire before the state pension age.

These members will have to interact with the Department of Social Protection when they retire to claim any benefits they are entitled to which form part of their pension. See our page on Pensions and Pay Related Social Insurance for further information.

The INTO Pension Calculator has been developed specifically for INTO members to assist the calculation of an estimated pension and lump sum. Figures supplied on the calculator are for illustrative purposes only. Estimates provided should not be considered a substitute for professional financial advice. The DE will supply the final figures for Pension and Lump Sum.

Important note: the INTO calculator provided is not designed to calculate Cost Neutral Early Retirement (CNER) estimates. Access the DE Pensions Calculator.

How To Use The Calculator

To calculate your gross pension and lump sum, please insert the following two pieces of information to the calculator, under the relevant section:

  1. Your fortnightly total gross pay which is found on the left-hand side of your payslip.
  2. Your total number of years’ service, including months/days of a partial year, up to the chosen date of retirement.

Application forms for the payment of pension and lump sum are automatically forwarded by the Department of Education to teachers due to retire on compulsory grounds. For other categories of retirement an application form must be requested from the Pensions Section of the Department of Education or downloaded from the DE website.

Completed applications forms should be returned to the Department, (Primary Pensions Section, Athlone, Co. Westmeath), six to eight weeks in advance of the effective date of retirement, in order to ensure payment of the pension and lump sum on retirement.

Teachers retiring at the end of the school year should date their retirement effective from 31 August in order to ensure payment of full salary for the months of July and August.

Queries regarding teachers’ pensions are dealt with in the Primary Pensions Section, Department of Education, Cornamaddy, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. Email  or use the online Contact Form.

A teacher can apply for a pension quote by completing and submitting this Query Form 1 to DE Pensions here.  The pensions section prioritise pension quotes for teachers in order of proposed retirement date.

While awaiting a quote, we advise teachers on the New Entrant Pension Scheme to use our pension calculator here.

Pension payments are issued from the Department of Education offices in Athlone.

Teachers are strongly advised to complete and return, without delay, the relevant documentation which is issued in connection with retirement.

A teacher’s retirement lump sum is normally issued by the Department of Education within one month of retirement.

The following documentation is issued to a teacher approximately one week before the lump sum is issued:

  1. A statement of the benefits being paid and a pension number.
  2. Pension Declaration Form. This declaration must be returned to the Office of the Pay Master General (PMG) which issues pensions. The first pension payment will not be issued until this form is returned. Normally the first pension payment will contain any arrears of pension due.
  3. A form for claiming a rebate of income tax in respect of deductions (if any) from the lump sum e.g. for outstanding contributions to the Spouses’ and Children’s scheme/Substitute Service.
  4. A general information leaflet.
  5. An application form for membership of the Retired Teachers’ Association.

Pension payments are issued fortnightly.

VHI contributions can be deducted directly from retired teachers’ pensions. However, the Group Scheme for retired teachers operates on a calendar year basis and accordingly retired teachers should contact VHI and arrange direct payment of premiums for the period during their retirement date and the renewal date of the retired teachers’ scheme which is 1 January.

Visit the INTO Retirement Planning Webpage here.
A teacher is in pensionable employment if they are employed in a permanent, temporary, part-time or substitute capacity in a national school.

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’, Civil Partners’ 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 their death either in service or after retirement. 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. Please see the separate section on substitute service below.

Further information on the Spouses and Children’s Pension Scheme is available at Spouses’ and Children’s Pension Scheme – Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (

Members of the New Entrant Pension Scheme who will not have the possibility of completing 40 years of pensionable teaching service by age 65 may purchase additional Notional Service through the Department of Education.

Application forms for a quotation for Notional Service are available on the Department of Education webpages here.

The additional service purchased is treated as actual service in calculating pension and lump sum entitlements.

The maximum amount of Notional Service that may be purchased the lower of five years or the shortfall at retirement age.

Click on the links below to download information on notional service:

Circular 129/06 (PDF): Purchase of notional service for superannuation purposes (Revision of Scheme)

Circular PEN 11/05 (Word): Revised Contribution Rates for Purchase of Notional Service

Substitute Service Prior to 2005 for pension purposes.

On appointment to a permanent teaching post, a teacher can have any previous service as a substitute teacher credited for superannuation purposes. Separate conditions apply for the following periods:

  • All substitute service given prior to 1 September 1991
  • All substitute service given in the 1991/92 and 1992/93 school years
  • All substitute service given after 1 September 1993

In each case, the amount of substitute service reckonable for superannuation will be calculated by the DE. The teacher must pay a superannuation contribution as no contributions were made at the time. In general terms, but with important variations for earlier years, each day of qualified substitute service may be calculated as a pro-rata fraction of a 365-day year. Please note, collected superannuation contributions may be eligible for tax relief.

In many cases, especially for substitute service in the 1980s and early 1990s, this work may not have been recorded by the DE as the service was not eligible for superannuation at the time. In order to have substitute service included for pension calculation, the S1 form, Verification of Teaching Service for Pension Purposes (PDF) will need to be completed by each school that verified service is required from. This form should be submitted with the relevant retirement application form.


Members who cannot have their substitute service verified using an S1 form, may apply to the DE Pensions Section to request an affidavit form to complete the process. Such members must provide evidence as to why the service cannot be verified on the S1 form.

Substitute Service from 2005 on.

Superannuation deductions for substitute teachers commenced on 1 January, 2005.

Please note, the only group from whom superannuation deductions will not be made for substitute work are teachers who retire on compulsory age grounds under the Old Entrant Pension Scheme.

In this context, it should be noted that teachers over 65 who undertake substitute work after 31st March 2004 will have superannuation deductions made if a break of more than 26 weeks occurs between periods of employment. DE Circular 28/2004

Superannuation deductions will be made from each salary payment. In general, substitute teachers will pay superannuation deductions as follows:

  • 1.5% Spouses and Children’s Pension (pre-tax deduction from gross salary)
  • 1.5% Superannuation (pre-tax deduction from gross salary)
  • 3.5% Superannuation (pre-tax deduction from gross salary less twice the rate of Dept. of Social and Family Affairs Old Age Pension)
  • Additional Superannuation Contribution (ASC) effective from 1 January 2019. The ASC replaces PRD (the “pension levy”) and reduces the current overall contribution.

The Department of Education will stop the payment of any Supplementary Pension for the duration of a retired teacher’s substitute work.

Jobseekers Benefit will stop if a member does any work which involves a PRSI contribution.

Agreed Reports 7/75 and 2/78 of the Conciliation Council for Teachers record agreement on arrangements for the reckoning, for superannuation purposes, of service given by teachers as members of religious orders on the minimum staffs of capitation schools (hereafter referred to as “capitation teaching service”).

Arising from those agreed reports, and subject to the conditions outlined therein, one-half of such teaching service may be reckoned as pensionable service under the appropriate superannuation scheme.

Service given by teachers, either lay or religious, in a supernumerary capacity in capitation schools (hereafter referred to as “supernumerary teaching service” is not recognised as pensionable service.


Updated July 2023

Still have questions?

Submit your query by email to INTO. Please include your payroll or membership number.