Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme & Other Provisions) Act 2012

The Single Public Service Pension Scheme (“Single Scheme”) commenced with effect from 1 January 2013. All new entrants to pensionable public service employment on or after 1 January 2013 are, in general, members of the Single Scheme. The Single Scheme is a statutory pension scheme and is a non-funded ‘pay as you go’ public sector pension scheme. The Scheme operates on a Career Averaging basis and provides retirement and contingent benefits for its members. Membership of the Scheme is compulsory for staff members of the Institute who are eligible to join it.

Retirement Benefits refers to any payment arising under a pension scheme, payable to the member or to others, at or following retirement. This includes retirement pension and lump sum gratuity and any survivors’ pension payable following death in retirement.

Contingent Benefit refers to any benefit payable under a pension scheme when a member dies in service. This includes the lump sum gratuity and any survivors’ pension payable following death in service.

The rules of the Single Pension Scheme are in Statutory Instrument No. 37 of 2012 - PUBLIC SERVICE PENSIONS (SINGLE SCHEME AND OTHER PROVISIONS) ACT 2012 and futher details of this scheme are available in Circular Letter 19/2012.

Provisions of the Single Pension Scheme for members of the Education Sector Superannuation Scheme

A commencement order in respect of Chapter 4 of the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme & Other Provisions) Act 2012 became fully operational from the 1st November 2012. The provisions of Chapter 4 will apply to members of pre-existing public service pension schemes. 

Chapter 4 of the 2012 Act introduces the following changes to the rules of all pre existing public service pension schemes:

  1. There is a 40-year limit on pensionable service* accrued in public service schemes (the limit will apply whether service is accrued within one scheme or across multiple schemes) [Section 52 of the Act]

  2. Pension abatement has been extended and will apply where a staff member is re-employed in any part of the public service after retirement [Section 52 of the Act]

  3. The Act provides for the reduction or refusal of retirement benefits in certain cases involving the dismissal of a scheme member [Section 53 of the Act]

  4. The Act limits the payment of multiple survivor’s pensions to one individual [Section 54]

The Act also imposes a number of duties on members, specifically to make declarations and provide information. It further authorises the use of a member’s PPSN as a method of identification. [Section 49-51]. In practical terms, these changes means that scheme members will now be required to make a declaration on taking up employment or applying for a benefit from a public service pension scheme.

Further information on the  Single Scheme is available from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform's website.

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