Buying Added Years


Purchase of Notional Service

The Notional Service Purchase Scheme (see Circular Letter No. 0125/2006 allows employees who would have less than 40 years pensionable service at age 60 or 65 (65 years in the case of a new entrant), and who fulfil certain other conditions to purchase additional pensionable service at full actuarial cost.   This must be done by way of written application on application form NS01. The additional service purchased is treated as actual service in calculating the pension and lump sum entitlements, including Spouses/Civil Partners and Children’s benefits.   Payment may be made by a lump sum payment for by periodic deductions from pay. Periodic contributions begin on the person’s birthday at any age up to 2 years before 60 or 65 years of age. Purchase rates depend on age at commencement of purchase. Contributions are normally allowable against income tax in the same way as contributions to the pension schemes, subject to the rules, including limits, set by the Revenue Commissioners.

If you opt to purchase service by periodic contributions, please note that if you leave before the preserved age at which you have agreed to purchase service until or you cease to make the periodic payments the amount of added years you will have purchased at retirement will be less than the amount you contracted to purchase initially.   This will reduce your benefits.

Application Form for Quotation to Purchase Service under the Notional Service Purchase Scheme – NS01

Teachers notional service purchase quotation request form

Staff other than teachers notional service purchase quotation form

AVC (Additional Voluntary Contributions)

AVCs are provided by private companies and are a facility available to employees through their staff associations/unions which allow them to enhance their superannuation benefits at their own expense, as permitted by the Revenue Commissioners.   They are essentially a private arrangement between the individual and a private sector pension provider.   The benefit is generally in the form of an additional cash amount of pension or lump sum rather that the additional notional years of service under the Purchase of Notional Service scheme.   The cash benefit is ultimately dependent on the performance of the fund in which the AVC contributions are invested.   Contributions are allowable against income tax, subject to Revenue rules. 

If you have an AVC and wish to effect a transfer value (purchase additional service/pay for outstanding contributions) it is recommended that you first consult with your AVC provider. To ensure payment of pension benefits in a timely manner you must inform the VEC in advance if you intend to transfer an AVC.   There is no facility to transfer an AVC once payment of lump sum has been made.

PRSAs (Personal Retirement Savings Accounts

Employer’s Obligations.   Where an employer limits eligibility for membership of a pension scheme – and the ETB Teachers Superannuation Scheme and the Education Sector Pension scheme contain some restrictions on eligibility for membership – it follows that ETBs are subject to the PRSA requirements of the Pensions Act.  

Further details available on Circular Letter No. PEN 12/03 and PEN 16/03. 


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