Retirement

Overview

UCD operates a number of different pension schemes with varying retirement dates. The pension scheme applicable to you will depend upon your date of joining the Public Sector and date of joining UCD.

Please refer to the table below for information regarding the retirement dates for each scheme. If you have difficulty identifying the category you fall into, please contact pensions@ucd.ie.

Changes to the compulsory retirement age

The Public Service Superannuation (Age of Retirement) Act 2018 was signed into law on 26 December 2018 and provides for an increase in the compulsory retirement age from 65 to 70 for pre-2004 public servants.   

The increase in retirement age applies to employees who joined the public sector pre-06 April 2004 and covers Groups A & B as illustrated in the table below.

An FAQ document has been prepared by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and is available on their website.

 Retirement Groups:

 

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Compulsory / Normal Retirement Age 

Groups A & B, referenced in the table above, who previously retired at age 65, can now remain in employment to age 70. Traditionally the UCD Pensions Office contacted employees in these groups, 6 months in advance of their 65th birthday regarding retirement. This contact will now be made 6 months in advance of the 70th birthday. 

Employees who as a result of the legislation can opt to remain in employment past their 65th birthday should be aware of the following:

  • They will continue in their employment with no change to their current terms and conditions including salary.
  • They will continue to accrue pensionable service up to a maximum of 40 years.
  • The legislation has not changed the minimum retirement age which means employees can still opt to early retire anytime from age 60.
  • Pension benefits will be payable at retirement which will be age 70 or the earlier retirement date as chosen by the employee.
  • No approval is required to remain in employment up to age 70.
  • We are currently working with our software providers to allow calculations on ESS past age 65 and these should be available shortly. Figures prior to age 65 are currently available through the Employee Self-Service System.

Group C, as referenced in the table above, are unaffected by the legislation and have no maximum retirement age. 

The Public Service Superannuation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2004 removed the compulsory retirement age for new entrants to the public service with effect from 1 April 2004 i.e. staff do not have to retire at the normal retirement age of 65. There is no limit on the upper retirement age. The Act also specifies that the minimum retirement age at which pension may be paid to new entrants is 65.

A new entrant to the public service is an employee who either:

  • becomes a public servant for the first time from 1 April 2004 to 31 December 2012, or
  • leaves public service employment and who between 1 April 2004 and 31 December 2012 returns to public service employment following a break in service of more than 26 weeks

Staff can check if they are a new entrant under the 2004 act by logging onto their online pensions self service via Employee Self Service (ESS) and proceeding to the pensions calculator. The calculator contains a field called Pensions Category which will show new entrant/non new entrant as appropriate. If you are a permanent employee and the record describes you as a new entrant, you will have the right to continue working beyond age 65.

Traditionally the UCD Pensions Office contacted employees in this group, 6 months in advance of their 65th birthday regarding retirement. This contact will now be made 6 months in advance of the 70th birthday. Employees who wish to remain past age 70, should follow the following steps:

  1. On confirmation that you are a new entrant, please complete the Extended Retirement Notification Form.doc. You are requested to complete this form 1 year in advance of your 70th birthday or on your 69th birthday. The form asks you to state your new expected retirement date and should be passed to your HoS/Unit for notification of your continued employment. When the HoS/Unit has signed the form, it should be returned to the HR Resourcing Manager, UCD HR.
  2. Continued Employment is subject to continuing satisfactory performance at the time.
  3. Resourcing will advise the Pensions Office of your new retirement date and issue you and your HoS/Unit with a letter of confirmation.
  4. The Pensions Office will contact you in advance of your new retirement date with your retirement figures.

Group D, as referenced in the table above, are unaffected by the legislation and already have a maximum retirement age of 70. Please refer to the Single Public Pension Scheme website for further information on the Single Scheme.

The following steps should be followed by Employees and Heads of Schools/Units in the event of retirement at compulsory retirement age:

  • The Pensions Office will contact UCD Employees 6 months in advance of the compulsory retirement age 70.
  • A retirement pack will be provided by the Pensions Office which contains a number of forms to be completed and returned to the Pensions Office prior to the compulsory retirement date.
  • An acknowledgement letter will be issued by the Pensions Office once all requirements outlined in the Retirement Pack are received e.g. original birth certificate, original marriage certificate etc.
  • Your pension will be set up automatically and paid into the same bank account, on the same date as your salary was previously.
  • Your gratuity will also be paid into this same bank account, on the date of your retirement.
  • The payslip for your pension will be posted to your home address and your Personnel number will remain unchanged.
  • A Pensioner Declaration Form will be issued on an annual basis for completion and return during your retirement. This is an Audit requirement.
  • Should an employee decide to retire prior to age 70, it is recommended that they contact the UCD Pensions Office, 6 months in advance of their chosen retirement date.
  • For staff planning purposes, it is recommended that you keep your Head of School/Unit/Line Manager updated of your retirement plans.
  • Continuation of Income Protection and Voluntary Life Assurance is currently under review with the relevant Insurers.

The following steps should be followed by Employees and Heads of Schools/Units in the event of a decision to retire prior to compulsory retirement age:

  • If you are thinking of retiring early, please run early retirement figures on your online pensions record through the Online Pensions Self Service.  Then if you wish to proceed, please email the Pensions Office with your personnel number and proposed retirement date to request a formal statement of your early retirement benefits.  Please note that if you are a member of the Single Public Service Pension Scheme you will not have access to the Online Pensions Self Service and therefore you should email the Pensions Office with your personnel number and proposed retirement date to request a formal statement of your early retirement benefits. 
  • Employees who wish to retire prior to the compulsory retirement age of the pension scheme of which they are a member, must do so by completing a retirement decision form. This form will be provided to the employee by the Pensions Office in a Retirement Pack and should be submitted to the Pensions Office with a copy provided to their Manager.
  • An acknowledgement letter will be issued by the Pensions Office once all requirements outlined in the Retirement Pack are received e.g. original birth certificate, original marriage certificate etc.
  • It is recommended that contact is made with the Pensions Office at least 6 months in advance of the retirement date to initiate the early retirement process. This is to accommodate potential transfers of service from previous employers and professional added years applications if applicable. The accepted Notice period and last day of work must comply with UCD’s Contract of Employment.
  • Once a decision to retire has been submitted, a withdrawal of the retirement decision is not permitted within three months of the chosen retirement date. This is to ensure certainty in the staff planning process. Where the staff member has provided less than three months’ notice of their retirement, no withdrawal will be permitted. Where exceptional circumstances exist, the employee may apply to their manager to withdraw the decision. Having given full consideration to the operational requirements of the School/Unit, the manager, the Head of School/Unit and College/Vice Principal may approve a withdrawal, The HR Partner and the Pensions Office should be informed by email of this decision.
  • For administration and information purposes, Group C employees described in the preceding table will also be contacted at 69 ½ years old despite not having a compulsory retirement age, but will not be required to retire.
  • Your pension will be set up automatically and paid into the same bank account, on the same date as your salary was previously.
  • Your gratuity will also be paid into this same bank account, on the date of your retirement.
  • The payslip for your pension will be posted to your home address and your Personnel number will remain unchanged.
  • A Pensioner Declaration Form will be issued on an annual basis for completion and return during your retirement. This is an Audit requirement.

Cost Neutral Early Retirement (or Actuarially Reduced Early Retirement) is an option which allows employees to retire earlier than the minimum early retirement age.  Benefits can be paid prior to normal retirement date with benefits actuarially reduced for early payment.

This actuarial reduction is permanent for the duration that the pension is in payment.

The rate of the reduction will be in line with actuarial rates approved by the Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform.

  • If you are thinking of taking cost neutral early retirement, please run “Actuarially Reduced Early Retirement” figures on your online pensions record through the Online Pensions Self Service.  Then if you then wish to proceed, please email the Pensions Office with your personnel number and proposed retirement date to request a formal statement of your early retirement benefits.  It is recommended that you contact the UCD Pensions Office, 6 months in advance of your chosen retirement date.  Please note that if you are a member of the Single Public Service Pension Scheme you will not have access to the Online Pensions Self Service and therefore you should email the Pensions Office with your personnel number and proposed retirement date to request a formal statement of your early retirement benefits. 
  • Please note that it is not possible to apply for professional added if you choose Cost Neutral Early Retirement.
  • Employees who wish to retire prior to the compulsory retirement age of the pension scheme of which they are a member, must do so by completing a retirement decision form. This form will be provided to the employee by the Pensions Office in a Retirement Pack and should be submitted to the Pensions Office with a copy provided to their Manager.
  • An acknowledgement letter will be issued by the Pensions Office once all requirements outlined in the Retirement Pack are received e.g. original birth certificate, original marriage certificate etc.
  • It is recommended that contact is made with the Pensions Office at least 6 months in advance of the retirement date to initiate an early retirement process. This is to accommodate potential transfers of service from previous employers. The accepted Notice period and last day of work must comply with UCD’s Contract of Employment.
  • Once a decision to retire has been submitted, a withdrawal of the retirement decision is not permitted within three months of the chosen retirement date. This is to ensure certainty in the staff planning process. Where the staff member has provided less than three months’ notice of their retirement, no withdrawal will be permitted. Where exceptional circumstances exist, the employee may apply to their manager to withdraw the decision. Having given full consideration to the operational requirements of the School/Unit, the manager, the Head of School/Unit and College/Vice Principal may approve a withdrawal, The HR Partner and the Pensions Office should be informed by email of this decision.
  • Your pension will be set up automatically and paid into the same bank account, on the same date as your salary was previously.
  • Your gratuity will also be paid into this same bank account, on the date of your retirement.
  • The payslip for your pension will be posted to your home address and your Personnel number will remain unchanged.
  • A Pensioner Declaration Form will be issued on an annual basis for completion and return during your retirement. This is an Audit requirement.

Ill Health Early Retirement may be an option for those who are permanently incapable of work due to ill health. Under this option, your retirement benefits will be calculated in the same way as a normal retirement and may include enhanced pensionable service subject to approval of the Minister for Education & Skills and the Minister for Finance.  You must have completed a minimum of 5 years’ reckonable service (or 2 years’ for Group D individuals members) in order to qualify for Ill Health Early Retirement.  

  • If you feel you may qualify for Ill Health Early Retirement please contact your Head of School / HR Partner as you will be required to undergo a medical examination with the Occupational Health Advisors.
  • If the medical evidence supports Ill Health Early Retirement, a retirement pack will be provided by the Pensions Office which contains a number of forms to be completed to arrange payment of your benefits.
  • The Ministers’ decision will not be received in advance of the retirement date therefore retirement benefits will be paid less the potential added years element.
  • If a favourable decision is received from the Ministers, benefits will be adjusted, and arrears paid in full.
  • It is a condition of Ill Health Early Retirement that if the health of the member of staff improves, or should they become capable of undertaking remunerative employment, the Minister, at their discretion, may withdraw, suspend or reduce the amount payable.

Added Years may be granted at retirement, at the discretion of the Minister for Education & Skills and the Minister for Finance, in respect of special postgraduate qualifications or previous non-pensionable service prior to joining the University.  

The potential for added years is based on whether the member has special qualifications i.e. postgraduate qualifications including but not limited to a Master’s Degree or PhD and/or work experience which has not been pensioned elsewhere.  Prior work experience and/or qualifications must be clearly and explicitly linked to the post to which the member was first appointed in UCD.

Please see below for a brief overview for the rules applicable to each category of member:

  • Groups A & B - The total of the actual and added years shall not exceed 40, and that the number of added years shall not exceed one third of actual service subject to a maximum of 10 years.
  • Group C - The added years applies to individuals recruited through competition to a professional, technical or specialist post where, by reason of the entry requirements of the competition, it is not possible for the employee to secure full service by pension age of 65.

The method of calculating an award of added years for Group C individuals is:

19 + Q + E - 25 where:

Q is the minimum number of years in which the required qualifications for a specific post can be obtained and E is the minimum number years of essential experience required. 

This is not necessarily reflective of the member’s experience and qualifications.

  • Group D  – Please note that Added Years do not apply to Group D individuals (members of the Single Public Service Pension Scheme.)
  • Please note that it will not be possible to apply for Added Years if you choose Cost Neutral Early Retirement
  • Please note that an Added Years award is one of the benefits subject to the discretion of the Minister for Education & Skills and the Minister for Finance and any decision on the granting of added years will only be made once a decision has been taken to retire.
  • The retirement pack issued by the Pensions Office will include an application for professional added years and the Pensions Office will assist in drafting the submission to the Ministers.
  • If the Ministers’ decision has not be received in advance of the retirement date, benefits will be paid less the potential added years element. If a favourable decision is then received from the Ministers, benefits will be adjusted and arrears paid in full.
  • Please note, that if the award is successful 1% for each added year will be deducted from your retirement gratuity for potential benefit under the Spouses and Children’s Pension Scheme.
  • You have a right to appeal the decision of the Ministers as per the Appeals Procedure.

A supplementary pension may then be payable to integrated (Class A PRSI) members from retirement age, or minimum pension age if later.  Depending on an individual’s PRSI contributions record it may transpire that they do not have an entitlement to the Contributory State Pension or will qualify for less than the maximum rate immediately from the date of their retirement.

A supplementary pension is calculated by taking the non-integrated (Class D PRSI) pension calculation and minusing the integrated (Class A PRSI) pension figure and any social welfare payments.  If a positive figure is arrived at, a supplementary pension may be payable subject to certain conditions.

Members applying for a supplementary pension must be unemployed and either fail to qualify for social welfare benefits or qualify for a reduced social welfare benefit, due to causes outside of their control. 

Application forms for a supplementary pension will be issued to members for completion along with their final retirement statement.  Continued payment of the supplementary pension is subject to annual confirmation that the member continues to remain unemployed and not qualify for social welfare benefits.

Supplementary pensions are not payable to Group A (Class D PRSI) or Group D ( members of the Single Public Service Pension Scheme).

 

Points to Note

  • If you engage in post retirement work with UCD a “P” will be added to the end of your existing number. The payslip for this additional pay will be available online through Employee Self Service as normal.
  • If you have previous civil service or public sector service which may be transferrable or bought back, please complete the transfer in form and email to pensions@ucd.ie well in advance of your retirement date as this process can take some time to complete. For further details on transfers in please see Transferring Pension Benefits.
  • VHI, Accident policy and individual voluntary life assurance premiums which were deducted from your salary will automatically continue to be deducted from pension. The UCD voluntary Life Assurance Scheme will stop unless you are returning to UCD on a temporary contract, in which case the premium will continue to be deducted on the part time earnings automatically up to age 65.  If you have queries in relation to other deductions please contact payroll@ucd.ie.
  • Your staff card will remain active after you retire.
  • As a pensioner you will continue to have access to your UCD e-mail account.ation that the member continues to remain unemployed and not qualify for social welfare benefits.
  • Supplementary pensions are not payable to Group A (Class D PRSI) or Group D ( members of the Single Public Service Pension Scheme).

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Further Information

  • Please refer to the UCD Retirement Policy for further details regarding the retirement process.
  • You may be interested in becoming a member of the UCD Retired Staff Association. 
  • Further information and an application form is available on the UCD Retired Staff Association page
  • Retired UCD staff members may also wish to join the UCD University Club. Membership benefits and subscription information is available on the UCD Club's website.
  • Please note that UCD runs Retirement Planning courses from time to time. Please visit the People Development page on InfoHub for details of the next available courses under HR – Pensions & Retirement.
  • The Retirement Planning Council of Ireland runs courses aimed at helping individuals prepare and transition to retirement.
  • The Citizens Information website contains information aimed at those retiring from work
  • Please contact pensions@ucd.ie for further queries.