Class D Officer Pension Estimate Grade Statement
Class A PRSi Non-Officer who commenced HSE prior to 1 Jan 2005
Class A Grade Statement
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This section is to provide information to current employee’s/scheme members regarding the HSE Employee’s Pension Scheme.
The focus of this section is to provide summary information for existing scheme members on the following areas:
The HSE Pension Scheme provides a wide range of benefits to pensionable employees' including;
The HSE Pension Scheme is a “Statutory Defined Benefit Scheme” in that the benefits payable to the scheme members are set out in the Scheme Rules/Statute (mainly the Local Government (Superannuation)(Consolidation) Scheme 1998) and, unlike a defined contribution scheme, benefits payable are not dependent on theperformance of stock markets or investment returns.
Payment of the Pension Scheme benefits are rather funded by the HSE from on-going scheme contributions deducted from staff salaries. While the HSE does not make any contributions to a Pension Fund (since non exists), by virtue of the fact that, in general, members derive a greater benefit from the Scheme than the contributions remitted , the HSE is deemed to make a notional contribution of at least twice that of the member themselves. This can be seen where staff on secondment for example are charged a ‘true’ level of contribution exceeding that normally deducted from staff salaries.
Membership of the scheme includes compulsory membership of both the
(a) HSE Pension Scheme (referred to as Main Scheme)
(b) The Spouses’ and Children’s Scheme (referred to as Supplementary Scheme).
Membership to the scheme requires employee contributions to be deducted at source from your salary. Contributions are based on which rate of PRSI you pay and are calculated as follows:
If you are unsure of your applicable rate of PRSI please refer to your payslip which denotes your specific rate of PRSI.
Generally, A Rate staff members are those who commenced employment in the public sector after 06/04/1995 and pay a higher rate of PRSI and pay a higher rate of PRSI contribution.
Generally, D rate staff members are those who commenced employment in the public sector before 06/04/1995and pay a lower rate of PRSI contributions.
Under the HSE Scheme all new hires** joining the Scheme have;
**New employees’ refer to a person who commences employment in the HSE/public sector on or after 1st April 2004 or a person who was serving in a public service body prior to 31/3/2004 and left such an office for a period of greater than 26 weeks before rejoining the service.
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Under the terms of the HSE Pension Scheme, previous service with other specified health service organisations and public sector bodies (see attached for fulllisting of all approved public sector transfer bodies)may be transferred to the HSE Scheme.
If a newly appointed staff member has prior service with any of these public sector bodies they should contact their previous employer(s) to verify this service and confirm whether contributions have or have not been paid for this service.
If the service in previous employment(s) was validated and paid for and the contributions retained by the health authority this will be noted on the individuals record and service recorded as reckonable for benefits purposes.
Previous verified service is segregated as:
(a) Whole-time service
(b) Part-Time/Flexible/As and When Required Service
It is important to note that historically part-time service was not recognized as service for the purposes of Pension entitlement. However, from early 1990’s this position began to change with the introduction of numerous employment regulations and Acts ultimately culminating in the Protection of Workers (Part-Time Work) Act 2001 which eliminated any distinction between the terms and conditions of a Part-Time Worker against his/her whole-time counterpart and thereby permitted all part time hours worked to be reckonable for the purpose of pension service.
Cost of Purchasing Previous Reckonable Previous Service
(a)To purchase service where a Refund of Contributions was received for previous employment
An employee who is returning to work in the HSE after a previous resignation/ break in service and where they took a refund of pension contributions for that previous service may opt/choose to buy back this service.
However, reckoning of such refunded service will be costed as follows;
Gross of amount of refund received plus compound interest at following applicable rates
Compound Interest Rates applicable for buy back of service where refund of contributions was received:
Service up to 31st December 1983 = 7% per annum
Service after 1st January 1984 = 6% per annum
Service from 14th November 2004 = 4% per annum
Tax relief is allowable on the interest element of the repayment only.
Repayment of previous pensionable service for which a refund of pension contributions was given is optional.
(b) Class A PRSI Employees’ – Officer and Non-Officer Grades
Previous whole-time temporary service – this service is costed with reference to the salary and pensionable emoluments/allowances of the individual.**
The cost to a registered scheme member who is fully insured, paying Class A PRSI, to reckon a period or periods of previous whole-time service in an approved public sector body is as follows:
**Liabilities should be calculated, at the latest, on the basis of a persons’ current salary at the end of the third month after appointment to a pensionable post.
(c) Class D PRSI (Officer Grades appointed pre April 6th 1995)
The cost of purchasing previous whole-time service by a member who is not fully insured paying Class D PRSI (officer who was appointed preApril 6th 2005), to reckon a period or periods of previous service in an approved public sector body is as follows:
Class D Officers have 3 years, from the date notification, in which to repay the contributions. If not paid within 3 years of the date of notification, Compound Interest will accrue from the date of notification to the date of payment of the contributions.
(d) Reckoning Previous Part-Time Service
Part-Time Service - Class A Officer Grades
In the case where a Class A employee in an Officer Grade wishes to purchase periods of part-time previous service the following applies
Back contributions payable for all part-time service prior to 19/12/2001 are currently costed with reference to the Pensionable Pay and Contributory Old Age Pension rate at20/12/2001 multiplied by the number of years in question.
Back contributions are currently payable on pensionable pay and Contributory Old Age Pension rate to the period when the service was given.
Part-Time Service - Class A Non-Officer Grades
Employees’ currently serving may reckon service given in a part-time capacity prior to the 1st April 1996 as follows;
All non-officer part-time service being reckoned that was worked up to 31/3/1996, will have back contributions payable for all part-time service prior to 31/3/1996 are currently costed with reference to the Pensionable Pay and Contributory Old Age Pension rate at 01//04/1996 multiplied by the number of years in question.
All non-officer part-time service being reckoned that was worked after1st April 1996will have back contributions will be costed on Pensionable Earnings and Contributory Old Age Pension rates appropriate to the period when the service was given.
Where a staff member will not have potential service of 40 years at their retirement age of 60/65 years of age (65 years of age only in the case of a new entrant) i.e. full service, the facility exists within the HSE Pension Scheme Rules for employees’ to purchase notional years of service/additional pensionable service at full actuarial cost..
There are two methods of purchasing Notional Service;
(a) By Periodic Deductions from Salary/Wages from next birthday until retirement age
(b) By way of a single lump sum payment (payment in this case must be made within 6 months of exercising this option, otherwise the option is invalid).
The additional service purchased is treated as actual service in calculating pension and lump sum entitlements, including spouses’ and children’s benefits.
The concept of notional service is to allow members of the scheme, subject to certain conditions, to purchase additional years of reckonable service thereby increasing their pension entitlement.
One of the key determining factors used to calculate a scheme members superannuation award at retirement is years of service.
The cost of purchasing notional service is calculated using actuarial rates which are based on a person’s age at their next birthday and the rate of PRSI a person pays i.e. Class A or Class D and whether membership of the Spouses’ and Children’s Scheme applies.. (see attached HSE Circular Letter 23/2006 Purchase Notional Service for full details).
Some of the key points of the notional service scheme are highlighted below.
the person’s salary at the time of the purchase and
the rate based on their age next birthday and class of PRSI (A or D). and whether membership of the Spouses and Childrens’ Scheme applies.
Staff may make one lump sum purchase in any calendar year subject to a minimum payment of 10% of annual full time salary (unless a lower amount is needed to provide for 40 years reckonable service).
6. Purchases byperiodic payroll deduction are paid for via deduction from salary. This deduction is a percentage therefore as a person’s salary increases the amount deducted will increase proportionately. An option to purchase service by periodic deduction may be made at the time up to age 63 years with reference to age 65 and up to age 58 with reference to age 60, subject to certain conditions.
7.Tax Relief is allowed on annual aggregate superannuation contributions as a percentage of a person’s gross salary. Tax relief is allowable from a minimum of 15% to a maximum of 40% of remuneration based on a person’s age. Part of this tax relief is already applied to a person’s regular contributions to the pension scheme. The balance may be utilised for repayment of contributions due for previous service, purchase of notional service or contributions to an AVC scheme or other authorised pension product. Tax relief for purchases of notional service by periodic deduction is applied at source but for lump sum purchases the Pension Section will provide a statement of the cost of the purchase which the employee must be submitted to Revenue.
8. In order to exercise the option to purchase notional service you must notify the pensions section in writing clearly stating the option you wish to exercise i.e. the reference age and purchase method (either lump sum or periodic deduction).
9. If an employee purchases by either single payment or by periodic deduction and subsequently retires before age 65 (or age 60 for non-new entrants), an actuarial reduction of their notional service credit will be made.
Please note that if you opt to purchase notional service and subsequently leave the HSE service before the age at which you have agreed to purchase service until or you cease to make the periodic payments the amount of added years you will have purchased at retirement will be less than the amount you contracted to purchase initially. This will reduce your benefits.
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4. Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC)
An AVC is an additional investment option made available to employees’ to enable them to make additional savings (outside of the occupational Pension Scheme) for retirement while receiving tax and PRSI relief on these savings.
You can make Additional Voluntary Contributions if the benefits that you will receive at retirement from your main scheme and any benefits retained from any employment(s) are projected to be lower than the maximum allowed by Revenue. Additionally, you can also use AVC’s to bring your pension up to the maximum allowed by Revenue.
Additional Voluntary Contributions is a private arrangement made by the employee independent from the HSE with a financial services company. The HSE can, however, facilitate deductions from salary in respect of the AVC plan taken with HSE registered AVC providers. Further information on AVC plans can be obtained from the following brokers (please refer to your area of employment for your nearest contact).
The Cost Neutral Early Retirement facility allows members of the pension scheme to retire from age 50 (or age 55 in the case of new entrants**) with actuarially reduced superannuation benefits. This facility will be made available to serving staff and the option will be extended to staff who resigned with an entitlement to preserved superannuation benefits as and from 1 April 2004.
The benefits payable to a scheme member who opt to retire under this scheme at age 58 are illustrated in the below example.
[The scheme member is this example is an officer who is an existing entrant and pays D rate PRSI contributions i.e. who will receive a non-coordinated award].
EXAMPLE: Retirement at age 58, Class D PRSI existing member
A person on Class D PRSI to whom a non-coordinated pension is payable, with a preservation age of 60, retires on his/her birthday.
Final Annual Salary: €50,000 Age: 58 Reckonable Service: 40 years
Pension Benefits under Cost Neutral Early Retirement:
Calculation of preserved Lump Sum: 3/80 x €50,000 x 40 = €75,000
Calculation of preserved Pension: 1/80 x €50,000 x 40 = €25,000
Further examples of the benefits payable to staff members who opt to retire under this scheme are available in the Appendices of DoHC Circular Letter Pen 05/2005.
To view all the provisions of this scheme please refer to attached: DoHC Circular 05/2005 Cost-Neutral Retirement (LGSS)
Where an employee (who is a registered member of the Pension Scheme) dies while in service, a death gratuity is payable to their legal personal representative.
The death gratuity payable is equal to the Lump Sum which would have been payable if the staff member had ceased to hold employment of the grounds of ill-health at the date of death
One years’ Salary plus Pensionable Emoluments/Allowances (Pro-Rata to WTE)
which ever is the greater.
This section addresses the impact that leaving/resigning from your position in the HSE will have on your HSE Pension Scheme membership and applicable benefits where the member is;
Transferring to another HSE position/Public Sector Body
Leaving the HSE with greater than 2 years pensionable service
Leaving the HSE with less than 2 years pensionable service
(i) Transfering to another HSE Area/Public Sector Body
If you are leaving/resigning from your current HSEposition to take up employment in anotherHSE Area, or to take up pensionable employment in a public sector organization which is a party to one of the Public Sector Transfer Schemes, you may apply to the Pensions Department of the new employer/area to have your pensionable service transferred to that organization.
(ii) Leaving HSE with greater than 2 years Pensionabale Service
If you are leaving the HSE having completed greaterthan 2 calendar years pensionable service, your pension benefits will automatically be preserved.
Where Pension Benefits are preserved, the pension and lump sum will be payable to you, on application, from age 60 (for non-new entrants) and from age 65 (new entrants).
If an individual should become permanently infirm before attaining the age of 60/65, the preserved lump sum and pension will become payable from the date of infirmity, as determined by medical reports.
Should a member with preserved benefits die before reaching their retirement age, a gratuity equivalent to the retirement lump sum is payable to that persons’ estate. Where the person was a member of the Spouses’ and Children’s pension scheme, a pension will also be payable to the surviving spouse/dependents.
The preserved benefits will be based on Actual Pensionable Service and on the members retiring salary as increased by reference to increases granted between the date of resignation and age 60 (non-new entrant)/65 (new entrant)
(iii) LeavingHSEwith less than 2 years Pensionable Service and do not intend to take up further reckonable employment
If you are leaving the HSE with less than 2 calendar years pensionable service, you may apply to your Pension Section for a refund of contributions paid less a deduction for tax.
This scheme may be availed of by staff who, because of the minimum qualifications and experience requirements pertaining to the post to which they were recruited, are not in a position to attain 40 years’ service by age 65.
Should you wish to make an application under this scheme you should contact your local Pensions Section.
You should note that this award cannot be formally sanctioned until cessor of employment i.e. retirement.
9. Planning for Retirement
The Pensions Section in conjunction with the Staff Training and Development Section runs a number of seminars each year relating to planning for retirement which includes;
The Mid Career Planning for Retirement Seminar is a one day course held periodically. This course is specifically aimed towards staff in their early 40’s to late 50’s but all are welcome to attend. Further information on this course is outlined in the Staff Training and Development Programme of Courses and places on this course can be booked by contacting your local Pensions Section.
The Retirement Planning Seminar is a two day course. All staff who are due to retire in a given year are invited to attend along with their partners. The remaining places are offered to those who are considering retiring in the next few years on a first come first served basis. You can register you interest in attending this course by contacting the local Pensions Section.
Planning for retirement? Why not use the Pensions Estimator to compare your pension benefits, if you:-
Access to the Pensions Estimator, and to more information on your pension entitlements can be found by double clicking on the following location - Pension Estimator.
10. Benefits Payable to Members - Grade Statement 2010
Grade Statement- Occupational Pension Schemes (Disclosure of Information) Regulations 2006
The information below outlines the benefits payable to members of the HSE Pension Scheme
The statement, which contains a range of salary and service bands, illustrates the benefits payable to members on various salaries with varying years of service*. The benefits are listed separately in respect of
*Please note that service refers to wholetime service e.g. where member works half-time, he/she only accumulates 1 years service over a 2-year period.
There are 3 Grade Statements attached below, only one of which is relevant to you. Your relevant Grade Statement is dependant upon
Please check each of the 3 headings on the Grade Statements to establish which one is applicable to you. Once you have confirmed which Grade Statement is applicable to you, please click on the appropriate Statement to display the relevant information.
About your pension scheme
The various tables/statements in this document set out the benefits available under your pension scheme.
If you resign from this employment with more than two calendar years of service you will be entitled to a preserved pension based on the number of years of service you have in the scheme, and the up-rated salary of the former post when you reach the minimum retirement age.
Members should note that where they have purchased previous service, they may discharge any Spouses & Children’s liability arising, via payment of additional periodic contributions through payroll. In the event of not exercising this option, any outstanding liability for Spouses & Children’s will be deducted from their benefits on retirement at the rate of 1% per annum based on pensionable remuneration at retirement.
Please note that all benefits may be adjusted on foot of a certified copy of a Pension Adjustment Order from the court service.
Additional benefits can be secured, purchased or granted under the schemes by way of any or all of the following:
All pension benefits are based on approved salary scales for the public health sector. The Consolidated Salary Scales are available on Department of Health and Children Copy of Consolidated Salary Scales effective from January 1st 2010.
11. Budget 2011 – Implications to Pensions
The following highlights the potential pension implications of the Budget/Finance Act 2011.
These changes, in summary, are;
(a) Reductions in Standard Fund Threshold (maximum allowable pension fund on retirement for tax purposes)
(b) Reduction in maximum tax free pension lump sum
(c) Reduction in maximum amount of tax relievable pension contributions an individual can make in any one year
It must be noted that the vast majority of individuals with pension schemes will not be affected by the tax changes announced in Budget 2011. In general, the tax amendments will not have any pension implications for persons who;
however, employee’s earning over €133,334 per annum may be impacted by the reduction in maximum tax free pension lump sum.
(a) Reductions in Standard Fund Threshold (Maximum Allowable Pension Fund on Retirement)
Budget 2011/Finance Act 2011 provides, with effect from 7th December 2010, for a reduction in the maximum allowable pension fund on retirement (known as the Standard Fund Threshold (SFT)) from just over €5.4million to €2.3 million.
(In general, for a defined benefit pension scheme such as HSE Pension Scheme, the pension fund value- for SFT purposes- is calculated based on annual pension multiplied by a factor of 20 plus pension lump sum accrued on December 7th, 2010. It must be noted that the Standard Fund Threshold includes all individual pension fund values i.e. HSE Pension Scheme fund plus any other pension funds).
The legislation, however, also provides for an individual who has ‘uncrystalised’ pension rights in excess of this lower SFT i.e. €2.3million on 7th December 2010, to protect those rights by claiming a Personal Fund Threshold (PFT) from the Revenue Commissioners.
Should your pension fund value on 7th December, 2010, exceed €2.3 million, you must notify Revenue to secure a Personal Fund Threshold Certificate to protect such ‘uncrystalised’ benefits ’rights to the pre budget 2011 level i.e. maximum of just over €5.4million. Failure to obtain a PFT from Revenue will result in the excess above the €2.3 million threshold being liable to a 41% tax at retirement within the pension fund. The net amount after will then be liable to further personal tax (up to 41%) and Universal Social Charge of 7% leading to an aggregate tax rate above 69% in respect of any excess about the limit.
A PFT has to be claimed by way of completing a PFT Notification to, and certification by the Revenue Commissioners. In general, individuals have a period of 6 months from budget day, i.e. up to 7th June 2011, to send details of their pension schemes and the calculation of their PFT to the Revenue Commissioners. Where retirement takes place between 7th December 2010 and 7th June 2011, the PFT application should be made in advance of retirement taking place. The Revenue Commissioners will then certify the PFT as appropriate.
A PFT Notification form along with general guidance on applying for PFT is available from the Revenue website at www.revenue.ie. (http://www.revenue.ie/en/practitioner/ebrief/2011/no-102011.html)
It is also worth noting that under the terms of the Finance Act 2011, that in order to assess if any potential liability to tax arises, that every employee or former employee claiming retirement benefits from the Civil/Public Service, must now complete a Pension Declaration Form (will be found as an Appendix to the HR107(a) Retirement Form which is required to be completed on retirement). No pension payments can be approved unless a properly completed declaration form is on file.
Further information on the implications can be obtained in the attached Budget and Finance Act 2011 Frequently Asked Questions.
(b) Reduction in Maximum Tax Free Pension Lump Sum
Retirement lump sum payments above €200,000 will be taxed with effect from January 1st 2011 (i.e. this change may effect only those HSE employee’s whose annual salaries exceed €133, 334).
Further information pertaining to this change to maximum tax free pension lump sum can be obtained on the Revenue website at http://www.revenue/ie/en/press/budget/2011/index.html.
(c)Reduction in Maximum Amount of Tax Relievable Pension Contributions an Individual can make in any one year.
Under Budget 2011, the earnings limit which, in conjunction with age related percentage limits, governs the maximum amount of tax relievable contributions an individual can make in any one year to pension products has been reduced from €150,000 in 2010 to €115,000 for 2011. This means that the maximum tax relievable pension contribution that can be made in 2011 is €46,000 i.e. €40% (assuming the individual is aged 60 or over).
In addition, the earnings limit for 2010 is deemed to be €115,000 in respect of contributions that are paid in 2011 but which the individual elects to have treated as if paid in 2010.
Further information can be obtained on the Revenue website at
Further information on the implications of Budget 2011 can be obtained in the attached Budget and Finance Act 2011 Frequently Asked Questions.
HSE Pensions Management,
HR National Shared Services,
Áras Sláinte Chluainίn
Telephone :- 071 – 9835236 / 071 - 9835237
Department of Social and Family Affairs,
Telephone: 01 7043000