Moving from a commercial semi state to another state body


Registered User
I'm not sure what forum this belongs, in - pensions maybe, but it's a little broader than that.

I have twelve years pensionable service in a commercial semi state, and have applied for a role with a quango in the same sector.

Many people would envy my current position. I'm close to the top of a pay scale that reaches 82.5k p/a, and negotiated pay agreements are likely to see that continue to rise each year.

I'm a member of a "funded" defined benefit scheme, that would entitle me to a lump sum of 1.5 times final salary, and 0.5 final salary per year, after 40 years. (If things don't change - big "if" perhaps)

I'm well regarded, and have been promoted quite quickly. I am completing my second masters, and have a useful combination of qualifications, which would probably make me too easily identifiable if I were to share them here.

Even so, I'm not sure what my next move, or ultimate goal, within this company is. I don't see myself in any of the senior management positions here, and I think I would be more likely to achieve my potential (not necessarily earning potential) in an environment that I could better apply the qualifications I've gained.

In many respects the role I've applied for in the quango seems right up my street (if perhaps a step sideways, or even back). They develop strategy which is then implemented by a number of state and non-state actors in my sector. The role is broad, and I believe if I were to do well in it, it would open up a number of routes for advancement within the public sector - perhaps towards the NTMA. In the medium term I could see myself doing a PHD, and I think this body would offer opportunities for that too.

I do however have a number of concerns, and have no one to bounce these off. I was hoping someone here might be able to help.

Issue 1 The pay scale for the role is advertised as €69,931-€86,642, and this is accompanied by two apparently contradictory statements namely (a) "entry will be at the minimum point of the scale and will not be subject to negotiation" and (b) "different pay and conditions may apply if, immediately prior to appointment the appointee is already a serving Civil Servant or Public Servant".

Before submitting my application I contacted the quango to ask whether I would be considered a public servant for the purposes of this provision, and they were unable to give me a definite answer. They suggested that I contact my HR department, which for obvious reasons isn't feasible.

They also said that it would depend on whether my pension is transferable. I've tried to research this, and the most that I can figure out is that my current employer is a member of the Public Sector Transfer Network.

My questions about this are:

1. Is it possible that they could therefore offer me different pay and conditions, if they really want me?

2. If it is possible for them to offer me different pay, is this just likely to be a different point on the same scale, or could I conceivably convince them to offer me a pay scale that tops out a bit higher?

Issue 2 New recruits to the this organisation would join the Single Public Service Pension Scheme, which I'm quite sure is a defined benefit pension based on average salary over career. I know they have to pay some form of "contribution" to this, but I'm not sure how much.

As noted above, I have twelve years contributions to a very good "funded" final salary defined benefit pension scheme. I pay approximately 6.6% of my gross salary, and my employer pays 3.6 times this. (I understand that these are absurdly good terms)

I've figured out from the public sector transfer network document linked above, that I can transfer my pension on a "Knock-for-knock" basis, but I have no idea what this means.

My questions are:

3. Could I move onto a pension on the same terms as a civil servant who joined twelve years ago?

4. Would I be correct in understanding that a civil servant who joined twelve years ago would be entitled to a final salary defined benefit lump of 1.5 time final salary, plus annual pension of .5 time final salary? This pot would however be unfunded, and therefore more likely to be cut in the future?

5. What types of pension contributions would I be expected to make?

Thanks for reading this far. I'd be happy to provide more information if this would enable people give better advice.

Maybe three more questions just to finish:

6. If my case is too complicated to advise online, could anyone recommend a professional adviser who would understand these issues?

7. Am I mad to be considering leaving the secure environment of a commercial semi state, to possibly take a backwards step, based on some idealistic view of how my career might progress in a relatively newly formed quango? (I'm mid thirties, married, homeowner, (LTV 40%), hoping to start a family soon, if that matters).

8. Has anyone else made a move like this? How'd it go?


Registered User
Well I've been called to an interview anyway.

Can anyone recommend a professional adviser who'd have an understanding of this area? Particularly the pensions side of things.