Benefit Statements & Frequently Asked Questions

Individual Benefit Statements issue each year to members of Education Sector Superannuation Scheme and members of the Single Scheme. Some part time staff members affected by the Revised Pension Arrangements for Part Time Staff may not have received a statement. Staff members affected by this circular can contact us directly to request a statement of benefits. 

If you have received a statement you may wish to refer to the frequenly asked questions below which should be of guidance to you in reading and interpreting your Benefit Statement.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Pension Scheme Explanatory Booklets  are available on the Human Resources website outline the various entitlements and options available to members of the Education Sector Superannuation Scheme and Single Pension Scheme.

Q.  Why is the date I joined the pension scheme different to my start date?                                    

A. The date joined on the statement is the date on which you commenced paying contributions to the pension scheme, and may not necessarily be the date on which you started in the Institute.  Any reckonable service with DIT or the CDVEC before this date may be shown on your benefit statement as ‘pre-entry service’. 

 

Q. How many years do I have to be paying pension to be eligible for the State Contributory Pension?

A. The State Pension (Contributory) is separate to your Institute pension, and is paid by the Department of Social Protection. It is a social insurance payment made to people age 66 or over who satisfy certain social insurance contribution conditions. The pension (personal rate) is not means tested or affected by other income you may have. State Pension (Contributory) was previously known as Old Age Contributory Pension.  Further details are available on the Department of Social Protection website at www.welfare.ie

 

Q. I am in an acting position at the moment, so why is this statement not including my acting allowance?

A. Only basic salary is shown on the benefit statement, in most cases benefits are based on basic salary, plus any pensionable allowances, on the date of retirement or death.  Acting allowances must be held for a minimum of one year before retirement, to be reckonable for superannuation purposes.  If your acting position is held for more than 3 years it is not averaged.  If, however, you change grade or receive a personal increase in salary within the last 3 years of service, an average salary will be used.    

Variable pensionable allowances, which will relate to non officers only, are assessed by averaging the allowances received in the best 3 consecutive years in the final 10 years of reckonable service. If the best consecutive year period is other than the last 3 years of reckonable service, the amount of the averaged allowance(s) is uprated to the values appropriate to the last 3 years of reckonable service.

 

Q. Will career averaging of salary apply to me?  

A. Under the current rules of the Education Sector Superannuation Scheme, career averaging is not applicable.  Career averaging applies in the Single Pension Scheme. The Single Pension Scheme is for all new recruits to the public sector that commence employment on or after 1st January 2013. 

 

Q. What happens to my pension benefits if I get divorced?

A. In the event of a divorce or a judicial separation under the Family Law Acts, a Court Order for a Pension Adjustment Order in respect of the retirement or contingent benefits (benefits arising from death in service) payable to or in respect of a married member may be sought and made. Further information about the operation and impact of Pension Adjustment Orders may be obtained from the Pensions Authority.

Q. When would I be able to claim my preserved benefit if I left the Institute today?

A. The minimum retirement age for an officer or a non-officer (other than a new entrant) is age 60. The minimum retirement age for a new entrant is age 65.

If you resign before the minimum retirement age -

   (i) Other than on ill-health grounds with at least 2 years reckonable service and you are not transferring your service to another organisation whose pension scheme allows you for the reckoning of your service under the Education Sector Superannuation Scheme,  or

   (ii) On ill-health grounds with at least 2 years reckonable service and do not opt in writing to receive a short service gratuity

your pension and lump sum entitlements are preserved to your minimum retirement age. You must apply in writing for these benefits on reaching your minimum retirement age and they will be based on your reckonable service and on your pensionable pay on the date of your resignation, uprated by the appropriate cases between that date and your minimum retirement age.

Preserved benefit and lump sum under i) above will be become payable earlier than your minimum retirement age if you fall permanently ill before that date. Should you die before reaching your minimum retirement age, a preserved death gratuity (calculated in the same manner as a preserved lump sum) will be payable to your legal personal representative.

 

Q. I have service with another public sector organisation, can I transfer this service? Do I have to buy it if I follow up on it? Why is my service with my previous employer (public sector) not included?  

A. Under public sector transfer of service arrangements you are able to transfer your service  to or from a variety of public sector organisations such as the Civil Service, the Garda Siochana, the Defence Forces, the Education Sector, the Health Sector, the Local Government Sector and certain other state or semi state bodies.   You should notify the Pensions Section of any previous public sector service, if you have not already done so, should you wish to have it transferred now.  The Pensions Section, contactable at pensions@dit.ie, will then look into the matter, on your behalf.

 

Q. Do I stop paying pension when I reach 40 years reckonable service? 

A. No.  You must continue to pay contributions in the case of the Main Scheme, to cover the whole of your potential service, up to your retirement date even if this means your total service is in excess of 40 years.   

                                                                                                            

Q. What would my benefits be if I retired on ill-health grounds?

A. A pension and lump sum, calculated in the same way as an retirement age pension and lump sum will be paid to you provided you have a minimum of 5 years reckonable service (if under age 60 for existing members and age 65 or over for new entrants) or 2 years reckonable service (if age 60 or over for existing members and age 65 or over for new entrants).  As well as your actual service you may be allowed an additional period of notional service, provided you have at least 5 years reckonable service. This added service, which is calculated by reference to the length of your actual service, is to compensate you for the fact that you have to retire prematurely.

 

Q. Are there deductions coming out of my lump sum and if so what are these deductions?

A. No. The figure shown on your benefit statement is the estimated Gross Lump Sum; that is there are no deductions (if any applicable) shown.  A deduction of 1% of pensionable pay must be made at retirement or death in respect of each year of reckonable service for which Spouses’ and Children’s contributions from pay have not been paid. In addition, deductions must also be made at retirement for unpaid contributions for pre-entry service.

 

Q. What are my unpaid absences?  

A. These are any days for which pension contributions have not been paid, and include strike days, unpaid parental leave, career breaks, unpaid maternity leave etc.  Unpaid absences are deducted from reckonable service.

 

Spouses' & Children's Pension Scheme

Q. Who is covered by the spouse’s pension?  

A. The spouse’s pension provides a pension for the spouse of a member who dies in service or after qualifying for a pension or preserved pension. Unlike the Widow’s and Orphan’s Scheme, the Spouses’ and Children’s Scheme provides for benefits to be payable to a spouse of a marriage entered into after retirement, and also provides for benefits to be payable in respect of children of such a marriage.  

 

Q. How many children are entitled to the child’s pension? What happens if I have more than three children?

A. The Spouses’ and Children’s Pension Scheme provides a pension for the spouse and/or dependent children of a member who dies in service or after qualifying for a pension or preserved pension. Children’s pensions are normally paid to the spouse.  The children’s pension is for the joint benefit of all your children and is divided equally among all eligible children. A person under 16 years or, if receiving full-time education or training, under 22 years is regarded as a  child for the purposes of the Scheme.  

If you leave a spouse and three or more children, the maximum children’s pension will be payable.   For example, if you leave a spouse and three children, ½ of your pension or potential pension is payable, and each child would receive ⅓ of the total children’s pension payable.  Similarly, if you leave no spouse, the maximum children’s pension will be payable as long as at least two children remain eligible. 

 

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