Public Sector Retire early

Mickey99

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16
Hi,

A number of us in my office are thinking of retiring early this year at 60 years of age, were all on Stamp A, but it appears our pension payments are a combination of a pension from our employer and a job seekers benefit for 9 months then a supplementary pension there after, and will involve a lot of going back and forward between social welfare and our employer.

This isn't great but it will do, but it appears there's now strings attached. Here are the list of strings that I have found out about so far......

1) Sign on weekly with Social Welfare (even though were not looking for work)
2) Can't do any work anyways because we will lose the JS Benefit or supplementary pension
3) Can't leave the retire to the sun as we must continue to sign on to get our pension!
4) Staff living in Northern Ireland are stuck between signing on in Ireland although they don't live here!

Obviously this was designed way back in 1994, and now tens of thousands of public servants who are considering retiring early (and who wouldn't after the way we've been treated in last 10 years!) are finding out this news for themselves.

We have been advised that some public sector staff are challenging this in the European Courts, does anyone know?

Also with all the discrimination legislation that around now, how can an older person be incentivised NOT to work, this must be contrary to the whole ethos, if not actually breaking the law.

So if anyone has any info on what happening about this can you please let us know?
 

Early Riser

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630
You are correct that you will not be able to claim the Supplementary Pension if you are working in any capacity that makes you liable to making a PRSI contribution.

You are required to claim any Social Welfare benefit to which you are eligible and you will not normally be able to claim Supplementary when in receipt of same. Normally the Welfare claim relates to Jobseeker's Benefit, which is payable for 9 months. I know retirees who have followed this route and then claimed their Supplementary. In order to claim the Supplementary, there is no requirement to continue signing beyond the duration of the Social Welfare payment - but people seem to generally prefer to continue signing for credits so as to maximise their PRSI record for subsequent State Pension purposes. But you could stop signing after 9 months if you are prepared to forego the associated PRSI credits.

I don't think the signing frequency for Jobseekers is weekly - monthly, I think, but am open to correction.

If you indicate in your Jobseekers application that you are not available for work I expect you will be turned down for a Jobseekers payment. The conditions for Supplementary only state that you must first claim any welfare allowance to which you are eligible, so a route you could pursue is to apply for the Jobseekers Benefit and demonstrate to your employer's pension office that you have been turned down as ineligibe. It would seem from the regulations that you should then be eligible for Supplementary, but I don't personally know anyone who has followed this course, so I cannot confirm. Of course this route also means forfeiting PRSI credits towards your state pension.

The link below is to a Dept of Education explanatory leaflet on the Supplementary, but the conditions are common for Class A contributors. You mention retiring at 60, so I am taking it that you are in a pre 2004 public service scheme.

I haven't heard about the court challenge, so can't comment. But it seems a bit of a stretch to me to construe it as incentivising the retiree not to work - unless it is in the sense of the argument that social welfare payments incentivise people in general not to work.

https://www.education.ie/en/Education-Staff/Services/Retirement-Pensions/Teaching-Staff/Supplementary-Pensions/Supplementary-Pension-Explanatory-Note.pdf
 

Meath Lady

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237
If your retirement age was 65 and you took cost neutral early retirement at 61 would you not be entitled to supplementary until you were 65. If you signed on when you left at 61 and got jobseekers for nine months would you even be entitled to it at 65 as pension age will be 67.
Hope that question makes sense
 

Early Riser

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If your retirement age was 65 and you took cost neutral early retirement at 61 would you not be entitled to supplementary until you were 65. If you signed on when you left at 61 and got jobseekers for nine months would you even be entitled to it at 65 as pension age will be 67.
Yes, In this circumstance you should be eligible at 65 (but not before) - until state pension age. Of course, the same exclusion as regards working would apply.
 

Mickey99

Registered User
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16
Hi Meath Lady,

As I understand it and I have had it confirmed from my employer, if your a class A, you can retire early at 60 and after 9 months of JS benefit, you will get a supplementary pension form your employer!!!!

Your supplementary pension will be bring you up to the level of a class D person with same service and same pay scale...hope that helps...

But keep in mind the string above!!!

That's why we need to get rid of these string and make our payments a standard as Class D.

I can understand why it was brought in, it was to avoid early retirees (i.e Class D) getting both their employers pension and an additional old Age pension at 66.

But this scheme is very restrictive, making us jump through hoops (if you can be bothered) the point of retirement is to stop jumping through hoops especially as many will be retiring due to poor health!!!

kind regards
 

Mickey99

Registered User
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16
Hi Early Rise,

Thanks for your posting, its important to get as much info out there as possible and get the discussions going on this matter.

This is one of the most confusing points of the scheme (some think its a deliberate ploy to stop people taking an early retirement pension)

Firstly, when looking to retire early you pensions estimate from your employer will look ridiculous and you'll think I stay on until I 66 or may be even go part time, this could be a mistake as you will be paying reduced contributions and end up losing out on part of the old age pension, if at leat 48 stamps per year are not paid up until you reach 66 you will have a reduced OAP!!!!)

It you plan to retire early ( from 60) you must sign on to get JSB as this will pay your stamps in full, then when you get your supplementary pension you will still have to continue to sign on this will pay our stamp and you will get your full pension!

So this is how restrictive it is, were essentially making ourselves appear as were unemployed, looking for work, when were not, in addition you cannot retire to the sun, regardless if your GP says you should, or you lose out even more...

Whats needed is a simple replacement scheme to allow class A retirees to get their pension (no no less) and when they get to the 66 replace the supplementary with the OAP.

We are paying very high contribution into this scheme, almost double what use to be paid, yet when retiring were penalised with string and conditions that we don't even know about yet!

A second point is when retired and the cost of living starts to increase, (bills get higher as they will) you might think Ill get a part time work for a few days a week to help pay for them to find out no, the more you work, the more you lose, unreal, so in a way your limited in you capacity to increase your income even in a very small way, in other words what you have is all your going to get!

I know this might sound like a rant, but I'm still not sure what other conditions are attached to this pension deal, many staff have rented property, small farms, AVC, partner works!!, this could mean that once retired you lose out...what type of a scheme is that...

There will be so many Class A's coming to retirement now that we should be able to do something. Im not looking for an increase just a what is due to be paid, paid without strings...

Thats why everyone should write to their TD and out the pressure eon them now!
 

Early Riser

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630
As I understand it and I have had it confirmed from my employer, if your a class A, you can retire early at 60 and after 9 months of JS benefit, you will get a supplementary pension form your employer!!!!
This is the situation if you have a retirement age of 60, ie, you can take your pension entitlements from that age without actuarial reduction (although you can continue to work beyond this, as most do).

Most post 2004 entrants (also Class A,of course) have a retirement age of 65 - I suspect that this is the case in Meath Lady's query. The exception to this would be certain categories of PS employees who have an earlier retirement age, eg, Gardai, Psychiatric nurses, Prison Officers.

For someone taking actuarilly reduced early retirement, there is no eligibility for Supplementary before normal retirement age (generally 60 or 65). The situation as regards ill-health retirement is different again.
 
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Early Riser

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AFAIK Cost Neutral retirement is for Class A who can retire early at age 60
For pre-2004 Class As, normal retirement age was set at 60, with compulsory retirement at 65. Cost Neutral Early Retirement (ie, actuarially reduced) is available from age 50 for people in this situation. If taking CNER, there would be no eligibility for Supplementary before age 60 and then the usual conditions apply.

For post-2004 people (but prior to the Single Scheme, 2013) normal retirement is generally 65, with Cost Neutral Early Retirement from 55. For those in this situation the Supplementary doesn't apply before 65.
 

The Ghoul

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335
It is good that threads on this issue are cropping up with increasing frequency on websites such as this. The unions should be all over this but don't appear to be. At the same time, the likes of "Irish Pensions and Finance" are invited/allowed into public sector workplaces to give presentations on AVCs. I was at one of these presentations and there was no mention of the supplementary pension at it, surprise surprise!

Most public servants are in unions and paying a few euros every week. Many public servants are post 1995/Class A. It might be time for a mass pestering of union reps.
 

becky

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I agree Ghoul. The pensions department also need to be more pro active. I have been hearing for years about them running clinics which I have yet to see.
 

Meath Lady

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Yes Mickey. I am post 2004 so my retirement age is 65. I have queried both our department and the union about retirement courses as I believe from others they have been very useful but thete us none available to my gtade unfortunately. So always watching any information hete which is a weslth of knowledge.
 

Gordon Gekko

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It’s a minefield. It doesn’t affect me directly, but I find it grossly offensive that pre-2004 entrants who wish to exit at their normal retirement age are forced to claim Jobseekers Allowance.
 

Early Riser

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I am post 2004 so my retirement age is 65
Hi Meath Lady, Unfortunately, then, eligibility for the Supplementary doesn't arise until 65, although you could take CNER at 61 and claim Jobseekers Benefit at that stage, as you suggested above. If possible, you should continue to sign for credits afterwards. As far as I am aware, this is annually and by post after 62.

It doesn’t affect me directly, but I find it grossly offensive that pre-2004 entrants who wish to exit at their normal retirement age are forced to claim Jobseekers Allowance.
Its also whether you see the glass half full or half empty, I suppose. I bet a lot of the post 2004 entrants would be delighted to have the option to retire normally at 60, even it involved claiming for Jobseekers Benefit prior to a Supplementary. And then the post 2013 entrants are more disadvantaged still. So which of these groups should the Unions prioritise in a campaign, as some posters have suggested?

As to the pre-2004 entrants, their counterparts in the private sector on a coordinated (or "integrated") pension do not have the option of a Supplementary Pension to fall back on - they must wait after retirement for the State Pension to kick in to supplement their Occupational Pension.

Just to note also that the Supplementary Pension is designed so that the Class A person will not be paid a lower total pension than their Class D counterpart. However, the inverse does not apply. In some situations the Class A's combined Occ. Pension and State Pension will exceed the pension being paid to an equivalent Class D.

I would agree, however, that the whole thing is a confused mess and both Unions and Employers should be providing much greater clarity.
 

Meath Lady

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237
Early riser. When you say after receiving job seekers benefit you should continue if possible to sign for credits. Do you just sign for credits or say you are still seeking employment or how does it work. I am 61 and will definitely continue working for another ten or twelve months as I have began job sharing recently in order to try and stay working for longer and continue to get a social welfare credit also bringing me nearer to retirement age 65 so less effect on the cost neutral. If that makes sense
 

Mickey99

Registered User
Messages
16
Hi Early Riser,

It is indeed very confusing... But were paying in an enormous amount, theres very little upside for us out of this, elections are coming up and if we dont get our act together well be overlooked.

The public sector staff have been taken for granted massively in the last 10 years, thats why so many are getting oit when they can.

Weve been the brunt of much public anger too when the banks were at fault and its about time we took some action...
 
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Leper

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868
I've read through most of the posts here and can feel the anger. I retired at 65 from the public service. I never paid an "A" stamp and consequently my pension is for 40 years of service although I worked nearly 48 years. I am not entitled to any state pension. If my wife dies I am entitled to some social welfare payment. Let's hope I don't find myself in this position. The Lesson here is that the "D" stamp although cheaper than the "A" stamp is as useless as a lighthouse in the Bog of Allen.

The retirement age for relatively recent entrants has been pushed back depending on one's fitness to work. One in this bracket can conceivably work beyond seventy-five. If we are to believe what the media says our workforce will disappear pretty shortly and the country needs public/civil servants to work beyond age 65. The Dáil broke up in June just before a new bill concerning public servants right to work beyond 65 was signed. I understand the bill will be signed during October 2018. Wait for the fanfare. I don't know from what date this will come into effect, but with the unions pressing I reckon it will be backdated. I don't know if there will be exceptions, but I am watching with bated breath.

I know I have gone off thread (not unusual for me) and the main players on the thread want to exit in their early 60's. They are snookered because little or no add-on years will apply. They can be envious of people in their 50's who can prove ill-health and qualify for early retirement with added years to augment their pension and retire earlier.

Unions are no good to people after retirement. Unions represent workers not retired workers although some shove some lip service in their direction. The only way for any concessions for those in their early 60's is through union representation. This placid section of people are becoming increasingly louder within the ranks. Unions are losing members pretty fast as Haddington Road and Lansdowne Road Agreements render them barren of being able to react. Proof of this is that the Sick Leave entitlements of civil and public servants was at least halved and backdated by 4 years. Some victory for the unions! (I deviate again).

. . . but on the plus side we have the Granny Grant to look forward to.
 

Early Riser

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630
When you say after receiving job seekers benefit you should continue if possible to sign for credits. Do you just sign for credits or say you are still seeking employment or how does it work
Presuming you are granted Jobseekers Benefit, when you re coming to the end of your 9 month claim period you should be informed by letter that the benefit is coming to an end and asking if you are signing off, applying for Jobseekers Allowance or if you want to continue to sign for Credits. The same conditions apply to signing for Credits as for your original Jobsekers Benefit claim so if this is the option you choose you can indicate this (Jobseekers Allowance is means tested and probably won't be applicable).
 

Mickey99

Registered User
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16
Welcome Leper to the conversation, sorry to hear of your predicament, you make some good points. The unions have rolled over, but the public sector is an aging population, in my office theres very few under 50!

I feel too I need to leave the union, as there gutless now...

Im not looking for a special treatment or even more than my class D colleagues to be fair, but were paying pension co trib and additional prd payments and at the end my pension is unreliable at best, should I go abroad to enjoy my retirement, my job seekers/supplementary pension will disappear or should I want to work a few days to boost my pension no can do...worse again it can affect our final old age pension too, quite substantially...

Now I dont know of any scheme where your pension is adjusted after you retire.. Its a scandal that we shouldn't have to put up with that.

Everyone needs to contact their union and also their TDs.

Banks have bankrupted this country and now th public sector are paying for it.

If you take off all your pension deductions, union subscription, usc, prsi and taxes between your early retirement and pension is about 10K tops...

Thats a 39 hour a week for less than €10k per annum..
 
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