|Ireland is a country well-known from its mystic green landscape, the clovers and its Guinness Beer. When we were joining an EAPSPI meeting organized by the Irish Department of Expenditure & Reform, we learned about another Irish Landscape: the Pension Landscape. This is comprised of provisions from different sources and one of them was introduced recently, namely the Single Public Service Pension Scheme. This scheme also covers many researchers. Currently some 18,500 researchers are working at the universities in Ireland.
It‘s well known that Ireland have been through a financial crisis in the past. This crisis also influenced the legislation and financing of pension systems. In order to reduce the spending in occupational pension benefits, a standardised pension scheme called the SPSPS was introduced for the public sector employees. The scheme is a so called defined benefit scheme financed on a pay-as-you-go basis. It provides benefits according to a career average earnings formula. Details of this system are explained in the Pension ABC concerning the SPSPS from the Irish Department of Expenditure & Reform.
Talking about the Irish first pillar, the system has two kinds of State pensions: a basic (flat-rate) pension for all retirees who fulfil the contribution requirements, known as the contributory State pension and a non-contributory State pension. The latter is a means-tested payment provided for those who do not qualify for a contributory pension. The contributory State pension is a pay-as-you-system based on Pay Related Social Insurance contributions. These are paid by both the employer and the employee. There is no maximum earnings level for which contributions have to be paid for the Social Insurance fund. On the other hand a maximum pension amounts to 352,00 Euro per week. Thus, the system has got a typical redistribution of wealth effect, like many similar first pillar systems in Europe.
In order to make sure that scientists from abroad and Irish scientists as well, are well-informed about their state pension, we are proud to announce that we have published a Pension ABC which was kindly provided by the Department of Social Protection (first pillar). Details of the system are explained in there.
If you want to trace your career stage and keep in mind the names and the entitlements of your pension institutions in Ireland, we recommend you to register in My Track (see menu above: My track and to register), where you can save your previous Irish employers. After saving the employers, you can also have a look at the standard annual statement of the occupational pension (SPSPS). Have fun!