The Deputy will appreciate that the terms of occupational pension schemes (including public service pension schemes) are separate and distinct from the conditions laid down by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection in relation to the State Pension (contributory).
For example, it is a fundamental feature of occupational pension schemes and of the regulatory framework within which they operate that pension entitlements are, in general, earned in respect of periods of paid employment and having regard to the amounts of remuneration earned. The State Pension (contributory), on the other hand, has regard to each person’s social insurance record, which may include periods in insurable employment, voluntary contributions and credited contributions.
However, I would point out that members of most pre-2013 public service pension schemes will have the option to purchase notional pensionable service at full cost to themselves and subject to the normal purchase scheme limits, including compliance with Revenue limits in relation to the obtaining of tax relief on their purchase contributions, and so may compensate in this way for taking time out of work for home caring.
In relation to the Single Public Service Pension Scheme, which is the career average defined benefit pension scheme applicable to most new entrant public servants from January 2013, arrangements to facilitate the purchase of Single Scheme benefits additional to the benefits accrued based on pensionable remuneration earned by the Scheme member, are currently being finalised.