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Professional Added Years (PAY) Award Scheme

The Professional Added Years (PAY) Award Scheme (For staff employed in pensionable Public Service prior to 1 Jan 2013) provides for the potential granting of a number of added years of notional service for superannuation purposes in cases where the minimum preconditions for appointment to a post are such as to preclude an appointee from acquiring full superannuation entitlements (40 years service) by age 65. 

The scheme is open to those appointed by open competition to a professional, technical or specialist post within the University.  Entitlements under the scheme are assessed by reference to the minimum entry requirements of the competition for appointment and not by reference to the individual circumstances of the appointees.

A distinction is made between qualifications required for the post and those which are merely desirable.  In this regard, the minimum number of years in which the qualifications can be obtained refers to the lowest number of years in which any of the qualifications required for appointment may be obtained and not necessarily to those of the appointee.

The Professional Added Years (PAY) Award Scheme may be availed of by staff who, because of the minimum qualifications and experience requirements pertaining to the post to which they were recruited, are not in a position to attain 40 years' service by age 65.

Process

Approval for the granting of Professional Added Years on retirement rests with Pension Unit of the Department of Education and Skills. This means the University must, on behalf of the retiring staff member, submit an application for Professional Added Years to the Pension Unit of the Department of Education and Skills via the HEA for approval prior to retirement.

Significant delays may be experienced in securing a decision on applications. In so far as is possible the University will submit applications in advance of planned retirement dates, however where a delay is experienced retirement benefits will be paid without the application of professional added years and once a decision is received benefits will be revised (backdated to retirement) accordingly.

An award of added years can only be formally made at the time of retirement, therefore applications for an award of added years will only be reviewed 12 months prior to retirement.

Application

To apply for a PAY Award, please completed the PAY Award Application Form and return to the Pensions Section, Human Resources Division, University of Limerick. This will then be reviewed and submitted to the Pension Unit of the Department of Education and Skills via the HEA for approval prior to retirement.

 Please note, the award is subject to a number of criteria including (but not limited 

  1. The transfer/abatement of all available pensionable public sector service to the Pension Scheme
  2. 1% for each added year will be deducted from your retirement gratuity for potential benefit under the Spouses and Children’s Pension Scheme
  3. Abatement as determined by the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform, in accordance with section 11 (ii) of the scheme, “where the employee has a retained superannuation benefit (e.g. a pension and/or lump sum entitlement, or a refund of pension contributions) from any previous employment, the gross added years award will be abated by the value of the retained benefit”.  To this end, applicants will be required to complete the Professional Added Years Award Retained Benefits Declaration Form prior to retirement.

Previous Estimate Awards

As the approval for the granting of Professional Added Years on retirement now rests with Pension Unit of the Department of Education and Skills, historical estimates of Professional Added Years awards will no longer be reflected on estimated/projected benefit statements.

Scheme Rules

1. Public Sector Pensionable Member employed prior to 1st April 2005 - Professional Added Years Scheme Rules.

2. Public Sector Pensionable Member employed on or after 1st April 2005 - Professional Added Years Scheme Rules for New Entrants.

Appeals

An applicant may appeal the decision Pension Unit of the Department of Education and Skills via the Superannuation Schemes in the Universities – Appeals Process to Higher Education Authority.

Further Information

For further information regarding PAY Awards, please email pensions@ul.ie.