When you finish working with UL, 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 here.
You cannot continue paying into the UL Pension Scheme once you leave employment. This page contains information outlining what happens to your pension when you leave UL and what choices are available to you. Information on who to contact in the event of a query is also provided below.
Under 2 years’ service
If you are an employee with less than 2 years qualifying service* then you can apply for a refund of your own contributions less appropriate deductions for tax as per Revenue rules, 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 UL to take up employment in another public body will continue their 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
Please complete the PF010 SPS Refund of Contributions Declaration.doc (sharepoint.com) and return for processing to email@example.com.
Once you have completed and returned this form to the Pensions Office, please allow up to 6-8 weeks for receipt of your refund, which will be paid to you by EFT to the Irish Bank Account to which your salary from UL was last paid.
If you are entitled to a refund of pension contributions, you may also be entitled to a refund of any pensions levy/additional superannuation contribution paid. This is not a refund from the pension fund and must be refunded through UL Payroll. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries on refunds of pensions levy/additional superannuation contribution.
Over 2 years’ service
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 UL until you reach retirement age. You will receive a statement of preserved pension benefits within 6-8 weeks of your date of leaving. Please ensure your current home address is correct on our records. If your address changes, please forward your new address to email@example.com. These benefits are payable (on application in writing) within 6 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, i.e. 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 UL. 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 spouses’ pension if applicable is payable if death occurs before retirement age.
More than 2 years’ service and less than 10 years to 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 (CNER). 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.
Transferring your pension
If you are leaving UL 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 new public sector organisation assumes responsibility for the service with the University and no benefits are payable by UL.
If you wish to transfer your UL 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 UL Pensions Office for confirmation of service and details.
Points to Note.
If you are not transferring to a Public Sector Body immediately after leaving UL, 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 UL service to your new public sector employer.
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.