Supplementary Pensions

Important: Please see Explanatory Note on supplementary pensions also. This document is a guide. It does not purport to be a legal interpretation or to be exhaustive.

What is a supplementary pension?

Supplementary pension is an amount of money payable to retirees in accordance with the terms of teachers’ pension schemes.  It is paid in addition to the occupational pension where a teacher has paid coordinated pension contributions as follows:

  • full rate PRSI (Class A) contributions while in pensionable service, and/or
  • purchased service, e.g. part time, substitute, unqualified service or whole time service before becoming a member of the occupational pension scheme.

What are co-ordinated pension contributions (co-ordination)?

Co-ordination is a common feature of pension schemes. Where employees pay full rate PRSI (Class A), a reduced pension contribution is paid and the amount of occupational pension is reduced accordingly on the basis that the reduction is balanced out by the Social Welfare benefits payable. (Please refer to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection website, www.welfare.ie, for information on PRSI.)

In what circumstances is a supplementary pension payable?

Supplementary pension is payable where the retiree:

a)     Is in receipt of occupational pension*

b)     Is unemployed; and

c)     Due to causes outside of his/her control, fails to qualify for Social Welfare benefit or qualifies for benefits at a reduced rate. These benefits are:

  • Unemployment Benefit
  • Disability Benefit
  • Invalidity Pension
  • State Pension (Transition)
  • State Pension (Contributory)

* in the case of cost neutral early retirement pension, supplementary pension is not payable before age 60.

What is the rate of supplementary pension?

Supplementary pension is equal to the difference between the full occupational pension (i.e. the pension which would be payable if co-ordination had not applied), and the combined total of

  • the actual occupational pension payable and
  • the personal rate of Social Welfare benefits payable.

How do I make application for supplementary pension?

Supplementary pension is paid by the Department of Education and Skills to retirees of the pension schemes administered by the Department of Education and Skills. Application forms and information on this payment are available on the Supplementary Pension page of the Department of Education and Skills website.

Will the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection assist me in claiming supplementary pension?

The role of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection is to complete the appropriate part of this Department’s relevant application form at your request detailing your Social Welfare entitlements.

The Department of Education and Skills may seek specific information at intervals from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection in order to ensure compliance with the terms of the pension schemes.

If I work part time am I entitled to receive supplementary pension?

Supplementary pension is not payable if you are employed in any capacity which involves the payment of a PRSI contribution which may result in payment of a Social Welfare benefit. 

Is supplementary pension paid to me automatically?

No, an application for supplementary pension must be completed and submitted to the Pension Unit of the Department of Education and Skills in order for the payment of supplementary pension to be considered. It is usual for such application to be made at retirement or when eligibility for payment of supplementary pension is attained. 

A further application may be made at age 65, the eligible age for State Pension (Transition) and/or age 66 the eligible age for State Pension (Contributory) if you are seeking continuation in full or in part of supplementary pension payment.

Once approved will supplementary pension continue to be paid to me for my lifetime?

No. Where supplementary pension is awarded, you must notify the Pension Unit of the Department of Education and Skills when you:

a)     Obtain employment

b)     Become liable as a self-employed person for the payment of PRSI contributions

c)     Become eligible for payment of new/additional Social Welfare benefits

Payment of supplementary pension will cease when you reach age 65. You may apply for continued payment of supplementary pension after that date if, through no fault of your own, you fail toqualify for certain Social Welfare benefits or qualify for these benefits at a reduced rate (in such cases, a reduced rate of supplementary pension may be payable).  

(Please refer to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection website, www.welfare.ie, for information on changes to Transition Pension from 1 January 2014.)

If the Social Welfare benefit is less than supplementary pension - what can I do?

Please complete the supplementary pension application form and attach documentation from Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection of the rate of Social Welfare benefit to which you are entitled in order to receive payment of the balance from this Department.