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Notional Service

Page updated 12 August 2022

Purchasing notional service is the practice of "buying" additional years of service from the UCD Pension Scheme for pre-2013 Public Servants. On this page, you can find out if  you are eligible to purchase notional service and how the process works. Details of information seminars on the subject are also provided below as are contact details for those with a query.

Am I eligible?

Notional service can only be purchased by those who will be short of service. The option is available to those with less than 40 years service at retirement and those who have a potential of nine years actual service. However, if you are transferring pension benefits from a previous private sector employer, then you are required to have a total of at least 2 years' qualifying service.

Retained benefits like pension benefits external to your UCD pension may affect your purchase scope under the UCD Pension Scheme, as such if you wish to proceed with the purchase of notional service please forward details of any retained benefits to the Pensions Office.

The maximum notional service a member can purchase will depend on the member’s total reckonable service at the time of purchase and any retained benefits.

Note: The option to purchase notional service is not available to members of the Single Public Service Pension Scheme.

If you do not meet the above eligibility requirements you may wish to consider making Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) as an alternative option.

How It Works

  1. For further information or if you would like to receive a Notional Service Purchase Quote outlining the cost to you of purchasing additional years of service, please email (opens in a new window)pensions@ucd.ie with your personnel number and request a quotation.
  2. A purchase quotation will issue to you to age 60 and or 65 years as applicable. Purchase rates used to calculate the original cost to purchase service are based on a member’s age next birthday therefore the quoted cost of purchase will increase in line with a member’s age.
  3. If you decide to proceed with the purchase, the notional service is added to your actual service and becomes part of the calculation of benefits at retirement. The years purchased will be displayed on your online pensions record.

Note: It is recommended that you consider taking independent financial advice before proceeding with any purchase of service under this plan. 

Notional service can be purchased by periodic deduction or lump sums payments. Income tax relief is available on all notional contributions at a member’s marginal rate of income tax (20% or 40%), subject to an age-related earnings percentage limit as per Revenue guidelines.

  • If purchasing service via periodic payment, payments will commence from a member's next birthday.
  • Purchase payments are applied as a fixed percentage of a member’s salary and will increase or decrease in line with any changes in salary for the duration of the purchase contract.
  • Contributions are payable on the member’s full-time equivalent rate of salary, including for periods where members are paid less than their full-time salary, for example in the case of part-time members of staff. Contributions are not payable for unpaid periods of leave nor will service credit be given for these periods, however you will have the option to repay contributions for these periods on your return to service.
  • Members may choose to cease periodic payments at any time. Cessation of payment before the relevant reference age of 60 or 65 years with result in the proportionate actuarial reduction of years purchased to the date of cessation.
  • Tax relief will be applied at source in the case of periodic payment.
  • Please note that if you avail of a career break you will be required to pay arrears of notional service contributions on your return in order to maintain the level of notional service you elected to purchase. Alternatively, the notional service you originally decided to purchase will be reduced to reflect the gap in contributions during your career break.

  • Members who wish to purchase less than one year of service may only do so via lump sum.
  • If purchasing service via lump sum payment, only one such payment can be made in any calendar year at a minimum rate of 10% of member’s salary, or if less, the contribution required to purchase a member’s maximum potential service purchase.
  • Members will be provided with a tax certificate for submission to Revenue in respect of lump sum payments. Tax relief is not available for lump sum payments arising from a transfer in from a previous pension arrangement.

AVC/Notional Service - Pension Seminar

This seminar provides an overview for staff interested in voluntarily augmenting their UCD Pension Benefits by making regular/lump sum Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) and / or purchasing additional years under the Notional Service Plan. Upcoming pension seminar details and the option to book a seminar online can be found via the Learning and Development page.

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UCD Human Resources

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