Transferring Pension Benefits 


Employees coming to UL, who joined the public sector prior to 1st January 2013, may be able to transfer their pensionable service from their old employer to UL. Below you will find an outline of the system, information describing how the process works and contact details should you have a query. 

Employees who joined the public sector post 1st January 2013 (Single Scheme Members) may also be able to transfer benefits arising from pension entitlements in certain other Revenue approved retirement schemes and PRSAs to transfer those entitlements into the Single Scheme. Further information is outlined below in Single Scheme Transfers (Post 2013) 

Pre 2013 Pension Schemes 

UL participates in the Irish Public Sector Transfer Network.  This allows employees who transfer from one area of the Public Sector to another, to transfer their pensionable service and receive full credit for pension purposes with the new public sector employer. UL operates a knock for knock transfer basis which means the pensionable service accumulated with the previous employer is simply added to the UL pension record. 

Service transferred into UL from a previous employer is treated the same as if that service was undertaken with UL and bound by the rules of the UL Pension Scheme to which it has transferred. 

Note: Not all previous public sector service is pensionable and may not be transferrable.  However, it may be possible to buy back this type of service now at a cost. 

An employee may also transfer out service (no minimum service requirement) to another public sector organisation within the Irish Public Sector Transfer Network when they leave UL.  If this option is taken, the other public sector organisation assumes responsibility for the service with the University and no benefits are payable by the University.   


Transfers from Public Sector 

If you think you have previous pensionable service in the public sector or civil service and wish to transfer into the UL Pension Scheme please email the details to, including the following information:  

  • Name and contact details of your previous employer 

  • Personnel number under your previous employment 

  • Exact dates of service with your previous employer 

  • Position title(s) under your previous employment 

  • Contract type(s) under your previous employment i.e. permanent, temporary etc. 

  • Any other details of relevance regarding your previous employment 

The UL Pensions Office will investigate the service with the previous public sector organisation(s) on your behalf.  This can take a long time to complete especially if the service was a long time ago and records were not electronic or since archived.  It is recommended you investigate transfers of service when you start your employment with UL to allow for any delays that may be experienced with the investigation. 

Once your previous employer has verified the details of your previous employment and has confirmed that your previous service can be transferred into the UL Pension Scheme, this information will be displayed on your online pensions record. 

Transfers from Private Sector 

There is no reciprocal arrangement in place which allows the UL Pension Scheme to recognise pensionable service completed under a private sector pension scheme. The Purchase of Notional Service Scheme (PNS Scheme) does however provide a facility whereby eligible employees may use transfer values released from Occupational Pension Schemes to purchase notional service under the UL Pension Scheme by way of lump sum payment at full actuarial cost. Service purchased under the PNS Scheme is treated as if it is actual service completed under the UL Pension Scheme. 

Please note, the option to purchase notional service is not available to members of the Single Public Service Pension Scheme. 

Should you believe you have previous pensionable service within the private sector and wish to find out more about the Purchase of Notional Service Scheme, please generate an estimate Notional Service costing on the Notional Service Calculator on the Employee Self Service on Core Portal.  

Further details on the Purchase Notional Service Scheme can be found Here

If you would like an illustration of how much service you can purchase, please email  with the current transfer value of your previous pension scheme and your UL personnel number. The current transfer value of your previous pension scheme can be obtained from your previous pension scheme administrators. 

Single Scheme Transfers (Post 2013) 

Circular 15/2019 provides for the introduction of a Purchase/Transfer Facility to enable Single Scheme members to purchase retirement benefits in the Single Scheme and to transfer retirement benefits accrued in certain other Revenue approved Schemes and PRSAs into the Single Scheme. 

The Purchase and Transfer Facility will operate based on the purchase of additional referable amounts for pension and/or lump-sum. It will operate on a cost-neutral basis, with the pricing of purchased benefits being based on the actuarially calculated cost of paying out those benefits at retirement. 

Purchased benefits will rank on a par with benefits ordinarily earned and are inclusive of dependants’ benefits in line with existing benefit provisions under the Single Scheme. 

Eligibility for Purchase 

Scheme members must have completed the vesting period (a member of the Single Public Service Pensions Scheme for24 months or more). 

Scheme members must have the potential to complete a period of 9 FTE years as a member of the Single Scheme by the time they reach their normal retirement age (including membership before purchase). For part-time members, it is assumed the member’s current work pattern would continue to NRA. 

While the facility to purchase is available to both contract and permanent employees, for a Scheme member on contract, the term of the contract must be such that along with membership of the Single Scheme in the past, the Scheme member would have the potential to complete a period of 9 FTE years as a member of the Single Scheme by the time they reach their normal retirement age. 

Purchase Facility Features 

Eligible members can choose to purchase additional pension only, additional lump sum only or a combination of additional pension and additional lump sum. 

Purchase agreements will operate on a twelve-month basis; a Scheme member can enter into one contract in any period of 12 months from November to October each year. 

Subject to the limits provided for in this Circular, a Scheme member can enter any number of 12-month purchase contracts over his/her period of membership of the Single Scheme, although no two contracts can overlap. 

Referable amounts may be purchased by way of one lump sum payment only. 

A Relevant Authority can set its own notice period for the receipt of applications for purchase. To this end, the notice period for the University of Limerick is October to November each year. No applications for purchase of service can be process outside of this timeframe. 


Eligibility for Transfer 

Scheme members must have the capacity to become vested members of the Single Scheme before they reach their normal retirement age. 

Transfer Facility Features 

Eligible members can choose to purchase additional pension only, additional lump sum only or a combination of additional pension and additional lump sum. 

The transfer will be effected directly between Pension Trustees i.e. between the Scheme member’s current Relevant Authority and the Trustees of the Scheme, PRSA provider or BoB/PRB provider where the retirement benefits are originating. 

All transfer values relating to a previous employment, PRSA or BoB/PRB must always be included in the purchase of referable amounts by way of transfer. No split transfers are permitted. For this reason, Scheme members should be aware that in cases where the transfer value exceeds the cost of purchasing the maximum amount of pension/lump sum referable amounts permitted for the individual member under this Circular, this would result in the balance of the transfer value being lost to the member. 

The transfer of retirement benefits accrued under pre-existing public service pension schemes is not permitted under this transfer facility. 

Limits for Purchase/Transfer 

The Purchase and Transfer facility for the Single Scheme places limits on the value of referable amounts that are available to a Scheme member to purchase by way of actual purchase and to purchase by way of transfer. 

These limits must be re-calculated in respect of each individual contract. 

The formula in the case of both pension and lump sum purchase is designed to ensure that, on retirement, the expected pension of the Scheme member will not exceed 50% of his/her final FTE salary and that the lump sum will not exceed 150% of his/her final FTE salary. 


If you are interested in augmenting your benefits under the Single Scheme, you can obtain a costing by using the calculator tool as provided by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER). The calculation tool can also be used to calculate the value of benefits transferable into the Single Scheme from another Revenue approved occupational pension scheme. 

Should you wish to proceed with a purchase, please email quoting “SPSP Transfer request” with the following details: 

- Name 

- Personnel number 

- DOB 

- Attach a copy of the costing obtained from the DPER website. 

The Pensions Team will verify your eligibility to participate under the scheme and verify the cost required to purchase pension and/or lump sum referable amounts. Please note you must have the capacity to complete the vesting period of 24 months prior to reaching retirement for a transfer to occur. 

If eligible, a quote letter will be issued to you a long with a request form. 

Should you wish to proceed at this point, please complete and return the request form with your instruction and letter of authorisation to allow us to deal with your previous pension scheme administrators. 

Following an exchange of information with the previous administrators and receipt of the transfer value, the Pensions Team will issue an acknowledgement of receipt and update your pensions record. The additional referable amounts purchased will be included on your next annual benefit statement. 

Points to Note. 

Members are advised to seek independent financial advice before entering a contract for the transfer of benefits. Ultimately any decision to enter a contract for the transfer of additional benefits is a decision for the member. 

The Revenue Commissioners are responsible for taxation rules in relation to retirement benefits. The Purchase and Transfer facility for the Single Scheme has been devised to ensure, as far as possible, that referable amounts purchased as part of this Scheme will be available to Scheme members on retirement on a tax-free basis, in accordance with the Revenue rules applying on the date of Circular 15/2019.It is, however, the Scheme member’s responsibility to ensure that their own purchase arrangements are in compliance with Revenue rules, with the assistance of independent professional advice if necessary. This is particularly important in a situation where a Scheme member has retained superannuation benefits (pension and lump sum benefits from previous employments, PRSAs etc). 

The Single Public Service Pension Scheme is not a QROPS approved pension scheme for the purposes of transferring in UK pension entitlements, please consult your UK pension administrators for further information. 

Further Information 

Further information on the Single Public Service Pension Scheme can be found on the Single Public Service Pension Scheme Website. 

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