Pension & Retirement

Pension & Retirement

by GRA

Ordinary Retirement

A member may retire on reaching 50 years of age subject to having completed 30 years approved service.Members who joined prior to 14 June 1 983 and who will reach their 50th birthday before achieving 30 years of approved service may retire on or after 25 years of pensionable service if prior to 30 September 1983 they availed of an option to do so.A person who is appointed as a new entrant to the Garda Siochana on or after 1 April 2004 shall cease to be a member on attaining the age of 55 years, or at a later age up to the age of 60 years subject to the Commissioner being satisfied as to health and capability requirements.Female members who joined prior to 14 June 1983 may retire on reaching 50 years of age provided they have at least 25 years of approved service, unless prior to 30 September 1983 they opted out of this arrangement.Public Service Superannuation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2004 refers.The statutory retirement age for members appointed prior to 1 April 2004 has been extended from 57 years to 60 years for all ranks with effect from 22nd December 2006. The ordinary pension entitlement amounts to half the annual rate of pay together with a percentage of certain qualifying allowances at retirement. A gratuity of one and a half times the annual rate of pay at retirement is also payable.The retirement gratuity is subject to a deduction in respect of unpaid contributions towards the Garda Contributory Spouses and Children’s Pension Scheme (see page 20).

Retirement prior to completion of 30 years approved service – Retirement at 50 years of age

Male members serving on 14 June 1983 were given the option on retiring at 50 years of age with 25 year’ service, provided they opted for this pension condition before 30 September 1 983. Those who opted had pension contributions increased to 2.5%. Female members serving on 14 June 1983 who were already on the 25 year pension condition were given the option of going on the 30 year condition provided they exercised the option before 30 September 1983. Those who opted for the 30 year condition had pension contributions reduced to 1.75%. Benefits are based on actual service.A Government decision to implement, with effect from 1 April 2004, further recommendations of the Commission on Public Service Pensions allows members who are fifty years of age or over, who could heretofore only resign with entitlement to preserved benefits payable at sixty years of 18 age, to retire and receive an actuarially reduced pension and lump sum with immediate effect. This provision also applies to members fifty years and over who are being dismissed. Full details are outlined in HQ Directive 130/2005. Members should note that the actuarially reduced pension rate applies throughout the lifetime of the payment of the pension. This pension is between 62% and 94% of persevered benefit which would be paid at 60 years of age and the lump sum is between 82% and 98% of the amount payable at 60 years. Members may still opt for preserved benefits which is calculated on actual service and not actuarially reduced and payable at 60 years of age.

Voluntary Retirement

A member who resigns voluntarily after two years’ service will, provided that member cannot benefit by carrying Garda service to another pensionable employment or otherwise, qualify for preserved pension benefits. Preserved pension and gratuity will be paid as from age 60 years upon application for payment being made.Where such a person dies before age 60 years a preserved gratuity based on actual service only will be payable.If he/she was a member of the Contributory Spouses’ and Children’s Scheme and leaves a spouse, he/she and any other of their children conceived before his resignation, will be eligible for pension in accordance with terms of the Contributory Scheme. Such pension will, however, be based on actual service only (credit will not be given for potential service).Any contribution due in respect of prior service reckonable under the Contributory Spouses’ and Children’s Scheme will be deducted from the gratuity or death gratuity. The preserved benefits will be based on actual remuneration as increased by reference to pension increases granted in the interim. Any contributions due under the Contributory Spouses’ and Children‘s Scheme will also be based on such pensionable remuneration.There is no right to re-employment in the Force following voluntary resignation or transfer of service but persons who leave the Force to join the United Nations Field Services, to pursue a religious vocation, to help run a family business when their help is essential or who have special skills may, subject to age, health and character consideration be allowed to rejoin.

Retirement on grounds of ill health

A pension and gratuity are payable to a person who is compulsorily retired from the Force on the grounds of ill health provided such person has at least 5 years approved service.The reckonable service for pension purposes of a member who retires, or is discharged on grounds of ill health, will be the aggregate of A and B following:

    1. Approved Service
    2. Added Service calculated on the following basis:
      1. Members with between 5 and 10 years actual reckonable service will be credited with an equivalent amount of added service subject to such credited service not exceeding the additional reckonable service which would have accrued if the member had remained In service up to the age at which he would be required to retire under Garda Retirement Regulations.
      2. Members with more than ten years’ actual reckonable service will be credited with the more favourable of:
        1. An amount of service equal to the difference between actual reckonable service and 20 years, subject to such credited service not exceeding the additional reckonable service which would have accrued if the member had remained in the service up to the age at which he/she would require to retire under Garda Retirement Regulations.
        2. Six years and 243 days (i.e. two thirds of a year) subject to such credited service not exceeding the additional reckonable service which would have accrued if the member had remained in service until the earliest age at which he could retire on pension.

Where a member is entitled to added service such service shall not count for “double reckoning”. The pension shall not exceed one half of annual pay.

Pensionable Allowances

Allowances reckonable for pension and gratuity purposes

Air Support Unit Analysis Collators
Change Management Designated Post Gaeltacht
Immigration Officer Instructors Interpol
Island Minister(s) Driver Ministerial Pool
PSV Radio Technicians Rent
Scenes of Crime Motor Technicians Substitution
Technical Bureau Transport Unsocial Hours
Water Unit Welfare Officer Dog Handlers

As regards the pensionability of allowances, additional pensionable remuneration in the case of members of the Force who retire with approved service on and after 1 October 1982, is calculated by averaging over the three year period immediately preceding a member’s retirement the total amount paid in pensionable allowances or under recent agreement, for members who retire as and from the 1 April 2004, the best three consecutive years in ten years preceding retirement.

On 28 March 1994, agreement was reached at the Garda Conciliation Council which provided, inter alia, that unsocial hours’ allowances, i.e. Saturday, Sunday, Public Holiday and Night Duty allowances would be pensionable for members of the Force serving on or after 1 January 1994. It should be noted that unrostered unsocial hours’ allowances are not pensionable but premium payments are reckonable for pension purposes.

Pension Rate of Pay (TRR)

  • A member who is on sick leave for more than one year, provided the illness is not the result of injuries received on duty will go on TRR rate of pay. A member who goes on sick leave at pension rate of pay will have that rate enhanced to the rate of pension that would be payable if the member had retired on the grounds of ill health on the day that sick leave at pension rate commenced, subject to a maximum rate of one half of the pensionable remuneration.
  • Where a member goes on sick leave at the TRR rate of pay, then resumes and subsequently goes again on sick leave at pension rate of pay, or retires on grounds of ill health, reckonable service will be the sum of actual reckonable service at that time and of added service to which the member is then entitled to. If, however, this total is less than that on which sick leave on pension rate of pay was at any time based, the latter service will continue to apply.
  • If a member retired on ill health grounds at or after the earliest stage at which the member could retire on pension and reckonable service would have been greater had the member retired on such grounds before that age, pension and gratuity would be computed by reference to such greater period of reckonable service. Sick leave at pension rate of pay does not reckon as approved service unless the absence was prior to 1 October 1976. Sick leave at full or half pay reckons as approved service with effect from 1 October 1976.

Special Pension

If the member is discharged from the Force on grounds of incapacitation due to injury received in the execution of his/her duty without fault the member shall be entitled to receive a special pension for life. This pension is based on the member’s service and the degree of incapacitation. The table on which these pensions are calculated is to be found as part of the First Schedule to the Garda Siochana Pensions Order 1925, as amended. Where a member is retired on such a special pension and has more than two years’ service at the time of such retirement, a gratuity is also payable. This is paid at the rate of 3/80ths of annual pay for each completed year of such member’s reckonable service up to 20 years and 6/80ths of salary for each year over twenty years up to a maximum of 30 years or 120/80ths.

Superannuation

Following agreement at Conciliation, members of Garda rank who are being dismissed or resign in order to pre-empt dismissal are now entitled to have their superannuation arrangements preserved. In essence this means that pension and gratuity arrangements are paid on a pro rata basis on the member reaching 60 years.

Survivors Social Welfare Contributory Pension

From 28 October 1994 a Survivor’s Contributory Pension which for the first time, gave both widows and widowers the same Contributory Pension entitlements replaced the existing Widow’s Contributory Pension.The Survivor’s Contributory Pension is a social insurance scheme, which is not means tested, and therefore entitlement is not affected by other income such as earnings, an occupational pension or a pension from your late spouse’s employment.A Survivor’s Contributory Pension may be based on either your own or your late spouse’s PRSI record.Entitlement to Social Welfare pension is established through payment of pay related social insurance (PRSI) contributions.In order to retain eligibility for widow/widower and/or dependant Children‘s Social Welfare pension or allowances, retired members should, up until they are 66 years of age, either:

  • take up other insurable employment;
  • become a voluntary contributor, or;
  • register as unemployed at the local employment exchange.
  • Garda Contributory Spouses’ and Childrens’ Scheme

Garda Contributory Spouses’ and Childrens’ Scheme

In addition to Social Welfare entitlements, a Garda spouse and/or a deceased member’s dependant children may benefit under the Garda Contributory Spouses’ and Children’s Scheme. While membership of the scheme is compulsory for all members who joined the Force on or after 1 January 1972, it was not compulsory for members who joined prior to that date.Garda Spouses’ pensions under this scheme are calculated on the basis of their late spouse’s annual rate of pay or half his rate of pension.Children’s pensions are paid at the rate of one third of the Spouses’ pension per child to a maximum of three children.Orphaned children will be eligible for the pension which the spouse would have received had she/he lived, in the proportions of two thirds of that pension where there is only one child or the whole of that pension where there are two or more children.In cases of permanent invalidity, a child’s pension will continue as long as the child is incapable of maintaining himself or herself provided he/she was invalided before reaching age 16, or if in full time education, age 22.Pension benefits are provided for certain categories of dependants of those members who opted for inclusion and who were excluded from the scope of the existing scheme and are operative from the 1 September 1984.They are:

  • the spouse and the children of a member who marries after retirement;
  • children of persons not married to each other;
  • children conceived after a member’s retirement;
  • children of a member whose spouse died before his/her membership began.
  • Members make contributions of 1 .5% to the Garda Spouse’s and Children’s Contributory Scheme. A total of 40 years’ contribution is required.
  • Contributions began on 1 January I972.Where a member has contributed less than 40 years contributions to the scheme he is required to make good the
  • difference from his retirement gratuity at the rate of 1 % of his annual pay for each year’s contributions that he has to make up.

A member who, on reaching retiring age, has only contributed to the scheme for, say, 10 years will have to make good the other 30 years contributions. These will be deducted from the retirement gratuity by way of a lump sum equal to 30% of one year’s salary. On application, a member may arrange to pay additional contributions and thus reduce this latter deduction from retirement gratuity.

It is understood from the Revenue Commissioners that income tax relief on these contributions is calculated in accordance with Section 17(2) (ii) of the Finance Act, 1972 and that five years is the period specified. In other words the amount of the lump sum deducted is spread over the five tax years before the year in which a member retires.

Transfer of Pension Rights

Service of members transferring from other Public Service positions to the Garda Siochana or vice versa is reckonable for pension purposes. In the case of such transfer three quarters of previous service is reckonable for pension purposes except in the case of transfer between Garda Siochana and Prison Service where special provisions apply because of the thirty-year service required for pension purposes. Members retiring at 60 years of age will benefit from any general pay increase which falls due within three months of date of retirement.

Pay Allowances for Pension – Best three consecutive years in the ten years preceding retirement

The Association was successful at Conciliation to have the reckoning of unsocial hours and pay related allowances for pension purposes calculated on the “best three consecutive years in the ten years preceding retirement. This will apply to members who retire (have retired) as of 1 April 2004.

Pension and Retirement Gratuity

Pension and Retirement Gratuity are calculated on a member’s pensionable remuneration which is the sum of basic pay on the date of retirement and pensionable allowances. Pensionable allowances are calculated on the yearly average of the best three consecutive years out of the last ten years of service. Pension is half of pensionable remuneration. Retirement gratuity is one and a half times pensionable remuneration.