Public Sector Retirement Planning

The Public Sector Superannuation pension can be a complex area for those involved. There have been huge changes to the Public Sector Pension scheme and there will be more changes to come. At Viaduct we keep our finger on the pulse and can advise on many questions we get asked on this issue.

When Can I Retire? What will my Pension and Lump Sum be? What will I have after all deductions per fortnight in retirement? AVCs v Notional Service Purchase.

There are four existing 4 Superannuation schemes. This is determined by when you entered (or re-entered) the service.


  • Pre 1995 scheme.
  • 1995-2004 scheme.
  • Post 1st April 2004 scheme
  • Post 1st Jan 2013 - new Single Public Service Pension Scheme.

Planning for retirement from the public sector can be daunting as there are a number of options available public servants who may be retiring early or may be 'missing years' are considering a 'top up' or enhancement to their pension and/or retirement savings. The options for Public servants is Purchase of Notional Service (PNS), an Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVC) or a Personal Savings Account (PRSA) AVC. Everyone circumstance can be different, so it is wrong to advice which option is best without getting further information about the individual first. Our aim is to make the Public Sector aware of all of their options in relation to enhancing their pension benefits before making a decision which could have a long lasting impact. Broadly speaking there are three main options open to public servants who want to 'top up' their retirement savings.

They can:
n Purchase additional service credits under their occupational pension scheme, sometimes known as PNS (also referred to as 'buying back years')
n Join a nominated AVC arrangement which provides defined contribution benefits by investment through a financial institution
n Take out a PRSA AVC.

The PNS scheme is operated by public service employers (Government Departments, Local Authorities, State Agencies etc) for public service employees including teachers, nurses, Gardai and civil and public servants. The AVC and PRSA AVC facility is provided by financial institutions. In order to make a decision on which scheme best suits your needs, you must speak to the providers of both PNS and AVCs / PRSA AVC to get a full picture of your retirement options. It is important to stress that before choosing a particular option you should look at the merits of each scheme. Where possible you should contact us for advice before making a decision. There are pros and cons in relation to both options and it is very important that you understand the implications of the choices you face. Because the choice relates to retirement savings, the impact of a decision taken now will not be realised in many cases until well into the future. It is also recommended that you review your pension regularly to ensure your retirement plan is on track.

For the best advice on buying back years, if you would like us to calculate your expected Retirement benefits and if you feel you need advice on all of your options to enhance your benefits - such as NSPs, AVC and PRSA AVCs

Please contact us for a free consultation.

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