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Leaver Benefits

Page updated 11 January 2024

When you finish working with UCD, you may be eligible to apply for a refund of your pension contributions or they may remain with the University in the form of preserved benefits depending on the amount of qualifying service you have (under or over 2 years) and the pension Scheme of which you are a member. 

Details of the different pension Schemes available and their membership criteria can be found on the UCD Pensions website. You cannot continue paying into the UCD Pension Scheme once you leave employment. This page contains information outlining what happens to your pension when you leave UCD and what choices are available to you.

Information on who to contact in the event of a query is also provided below.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Pensions Office will contact all staff members on leaving the University with regard to their leaving pension options. Your leaving pension options will be issued to you via email. Please ensure that your current personal email address is correct on our records or inform us of a forwarding personal email address by which we can contact you. You can update your email address on your InfoHub profile or forward your email address to pensions@ucd.ie. 

Completed application forms for refund of pension contributions should also be returned to us by email to (opens in a new window)pensions@ucd.ie.

f you are an employee with less than 2 years’ qualifying service* then you can apply for a refund of your own contributions less 20% tax, unless you are a member of the Single Public Service Pension Scheme and are going to another public body. Members of the Single Public Service Pension Scheme who leave UCD to take up employment in another public body will continue their Single Scheme membership with their new employer and will not be entitled to any refund of contributions.

*Qualifying service is a minimum period of two calendar years in which you are in service, whether full-time, work-sharing or part-time. Transferred service also counts towards qualifying service. For members of the Single Public Service Pension Scheme you must include any earlier periods of Single Scheme membership that you may have had with other employers when determining your qualifying service. 

Application for Refund of Pension Contributions

The Pensions Office will contact all staff members within 6 weeks of leaving the University with regard to their leaving pension options. Should you be deemed to have less than the 2 years qualifying service, you will receive an application form for a refund of pension contributions.

Please note this form will be issued to you by email. 

Please ensure your personal email address is updated via my email preferences in your Info Hub profile or email (opens in a new window)HRHelpdesk@ucd.ie with your email address. Upon completion of the form please forward it to (opens in a new window)pensions@ucd.ie

Once you have completed and returned this form to the Pensions Office your refund will be paid in the next available payroll run by EFT (electronics fund transfer) to the Irish Bank Account to which your salary from UCD was last paid.

If you are an employee who has exactly 2 years of qualifying service or over then you are entitled to preserved benefits. You are not entitled to receive a refund of your pension contributions. Preserving your benefits essentially involves leaving them with UCD until you reach retirement age. You will receive a statement of preserved pension benefits within 6 weeks of your date of leaving. These benefits are payable (on application in writing) within 3 months of your minimum retirement age, depending on your pension scheme.

Preserved lump sum and preserved pension are calculated in the same way as normal lump sum and pension, that is for non Single Scheme members they are based on reckonable service and pay at the date of resignation. The resulting amounts are updated by the appropriate pay increases/decreases between the date of resignation and the date of retirement in line with national pay awards which would have applied to the individual as a serving staff member in UCD. The University administers these adjustments within the guidelines provided by the Department of Education and Skills. 

Preserved benefits for Single Scheme members are based on average earnings and accrued referable amounts and the resulting amounts are updated by reference to positive Consumer Price Index (CPI) returns up to the date of retirement, if applicable. 

A preserved death gratuity and spouse's pension if applicable is payable if death occurs before retirement age.

As an alternative to preserved benefits, an employee who is aged 50/55 years or over (depending on pension scheme) may opt for immediate payment of pension and lump sum under a facility known as cost neutral early retirement. In such circumstances, the pension and lump sum are permanently actuarially reduced by reference to the person’s age on retirement. A member who wishes to retire on a cost neutral basis must apply to the Pensions Office in writing prior to leaving employment.

If you are leaving UCD to work in another public sector organisation which participates in the Irish Public Sector Transfer Network, then you may be able to transfer your service. This transfer takes place under the Transfer of Service Scheme and no minimum service requirements apply. If this option is taken, the other public sector organisation assumes responsibility for the service with the University and no benefits are payable by UCD.

If you wish to transfer your UCD pensionable service to another public sector organisation, please provide your new Pensions Office with a copy of your preserved statement.  Your new Pensions Office may wish to contact the UCD Pensions Office for confirmation of service and details. 

Note: If you are not transferring to a Public Sector Body immediately after leaving UCD, but you may wish to transfer the service in the future, please contact the Pensions Office of your new employer to check if you are eligible to transfer the UCD service to your new public sector employer.

Please note that there is no formal transfer mechanism in place at present in respect of benefits accrued under the Single Public Service Pension Scheme in one employment moving to another employment. The Department of Public Expenditure & Reform will inform the University of their decision in relation to the administration of transfers under this scheme. However, please be aware if you are moving from one Single Scheme employment to another Single Scheme employment you do not need to arrange for a ‘transfer’ of these benefits as it is the same Single Public Service Pension Scheme in place across the public service. Your Single Scheme benefits will be consolidated with your latest Single Scheme employer on your retirement.

If you were a member of a pension scheme that the Spouses and Children's (S&C) Scheme was not compulsory, you may be eligible to appeal the option to have the later version of the S&C Scheme which covers marriages/civil partnerships post-retirement. Further information is available on the (opens in a new window)Gov.ie website.

Should you have any queries on the above or wish to appeal, please contact (opens in a new window)pensions@ucd.ie and ensure to include ‘Circular 23/2022’ on the subject line.

UCD Human Resources

Roebuck Offices, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 4900 | E: hrhelpdesk@ucd.ie | Location Map(opens in a new window)