Pension Arrangements for Part Time & Fixed Term Workers

Certain part time and contract staff are eligible for admission to the pension scheme.

Background

The Commission on Public Service Pensions, as part of its terms of reference, had regard to claims for improvements to pension arrangements for part-time public servants, particularly with regard to access to pension schemes and with regard to the method of integration of occupational pensions with Social Insurance benefits.

The Commission on Public Service Pensions, in its Final Report, recommended that access to public service pension schemes should be granted to public servants in part-time work provided that they are in regular or quasi-permanent employment and that they work a certain minimum number of hours per week.  This recommendation was overtaken by legislation and a legal basis for access to pension schemes for part-time employees was provided with effect from 20 December 2001 by the Protection of Employees (Part-Time Work) Act 2001. 

Existing Arrangements:

Following discussions with the education partners under the Programme for Competitiveness and Work it was agreed that temporary wholetime service and certain part-time service as a lecturer in an Institute of Technology, (IOT), will become pensionable on an ongoing basis with effect from 1 September 1996. Circular Letter Pen 16/02 was issued to give effect to these provisions of that Agreement.  

Admission of Lecturers in Institutes of Technology to the Education Sector Superannuation Scheme (formerly included in the Local Government Superannuation Scheme) – Pen 16/02

Non Academic Staff
Circular Letter Pen 1/03 deals with the admission of temporary wholetime non academic staff to the Education Sector Superannuation Scheme.

Admission of Temporary Wholetime Officers, other than lecturers, to membership of the Education Sector Superannuation Scheme (formerly included in the Local Government Superannuation Scheme) - Pen 01/03

Revised Arrangements:

Circular Letter 0025/2008 – Public Service Pension Reform Revised arrangements for certain part time public servants

The Minister for Finance has announced the introduction of a change in the way in which the service and remuneration of part-time public servants are to be reckoned for pension calculation purposes. The effect of the change will be that all eligible part-time public servants will have their occupational pensions calculated on the basis of pro rata service and a notional full-time salary. There will be a corresponding change in the method of calculating contributions where relevant. The change will result in a difference in pension benefit and contribution level for part-time public servants whose pensions are integrated with social welfare benefits (ie where the occupational pension is integrated with the State Pension (Contributory) to provide a combined pension.  The State Pensions (Contributory) (or SPC for short) is formerly known as the Old Age Contributory Pension (OACP).

The opportunity is being taken to refer again to the Protection of Employees (Part-Time Work) Act 2001 in Circular Letter 0025/2008 and its implications for pension arrangements and to clarify certain issues concerning access to pension schemes and reckonability of previous service.

Circular Letter 0025/2008 was issued in May 2008 to give details of the revised arrangements

Circular Letter 0062/2014 was issued on 1st September 2014. This circular amended CL0025/2008 and provided for revised timelines for the payment of contributions due for previous service and timelines for opting into the revised arrangements. The Pensions Team will be contacting affected staff members in 2014/2015 with information on their pension options. 

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