Public sector occupational pensions
Public sector occupational pension schemes are statutory plans set up by legislation or trust-based arrangements that provide benefits for employees in the public sector or semi-state bodies. In general, only schemes for commercial State bodies have a dedicated fund to meet pension liabilities. Schemes in the non-commercial public sector, such as the civil service, local government, education, Gardaí, prison services and health services are financed on a ‘pay as you go’ basis. This means that the cost of pensions is met from current exchequer expenditure in much the same way as the salaries and wages of public sector employees.
Public sector DB schemes are occupational pension schemes that provide a set level of pension at retirement, the amount of which normally depends on your service and your earnings at retirement or in the years immediately preceding retirement.
For public servants who joined prior to 6 April 1995, a pension of 1/80th of final earnings is payable for each year of service. A gratuity (cash sum) of 3/80ths of final earnings is also payable.
For public servants who joined on or after 6 April 1995, pensions are coordinated with the State pension.
A scheme for joiners to the public service (the ‘Single Scheme’) was introduced for new entrants from 1 January 2013 that provides pensions based on career average revalued earnings, rather than final earnings. For further information see the website www.cspensions.gov.ie.