Incremental Credit (teachers’ pay):
Circular 10/2001 is the circular regarding incremental credit for recognised service. If incremental credit is granted a teacher will be moved up the payscale and if they are due outstanding uplifts, they will receive backpay from the Department of Education. However, teaching service abroad which is recognised for incremental credit on the payscale is not recognised for pension purposes, since no contributions were made to the pension scheme during the period of service abroad. Therefore it may be worth investigating Notional Service/AVC’s should you wish to cover this ‘gap’ of pension contributions.
Item 4 of Circular 10/2001 looks at teaching service given outside the Republic of Ireland and states the criteria as follows: – The service must have been satisfactory (i.e., primary school equivalent), remunerated and full-time. That the school was subject to State inspection and offered a range of studies which incorporates all the courses prescribed on the National Curriculum for the State in question. The forms are attached to the circular, should you need to apply. It is the case that you print out the form and send it to each school you worked in abroad, they sign and stamp the form to verify your service and then you send the form(s) back to the Department of Education.
Note: this scheme is discretionary, it is not an entitlement. Therefore, should the Department of Education consider the service did not meet their criteria, they are entitled to refuse it.
Why apply for Incremental Credit?
There are 25 points on the old payscale (old payscale is applicable to those who entered teaching prior to 1 January 2011). The Old and New Entrant pensions are both calculated using a teacher’s point on the payscale at retirement. Your payslip displays which point on the payscale you are on.
Where the incremental credit would be financially beneficial would be: –
- If the Incremental credit was granted, you would be on a higher point of the payscale, therefore any pension benefits under the Old/New Entrant Pension Scheme would be calculated from a higher salary scale point.
- Members of the Single Public Service Pension would also benefit from the increase in their referred pension amounts as they move to a higher point on the salary scale.
- Teacher’s automatically receive the ’35 Year Allowance’ (commonly known as the Long Service Allowance) when they have been on point 25 (the highest point of the salary scale) for 10 years. If Incremental Credit was granted, and the credited time meant you reached the long service allowance threshold, then the long service allowance would also be calculated into your pension benefits.
- Should there be any outstanding monies due, you will receive backpay from the Department of Education
Pension’s Accrued Abroad
It is recommended that teachers who gave service abroad, particularly in Northern Ireland or Britain, should not withdraw contributions to the appropriate pension schemes but opt for preserved benefits so that they can claim additional pension from their previous employers at the appropriate time, the normal retirement age for this pension scheme.