Prior to 2011 public office holders, including local authority members, were not liable to make Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) contributions on payments received in that capacity. A PRSI Class K charge of 4% on income received by such persons (provided that income exceeds €5,200 per annum) was introduced in Budget 2011 as a measure of solidarity to contribute to social insurance at a time when extensive curtailment of social insurance entitlements to private sector employees was introduced.
From 1 January 2017, most local authority members are not regarded as public office holders for PRSI Class K purposes. Their income in that capacity is now regarded in the same way as income received by a self-employed worker. Accordingly, local authority members, under pensionable age, who earn €5,000 or more per annum are liable to pay Class S PRSI contributions at a rate of 4% on their income or make a minimum annual payment of €500 whichever sum is the greater.
The exceptions are local authority members who are aged 66 years or over and in respect of whom no PRSI charge arises, or members who are under 66 years and who are also serving civil or public service employees recruited prior to April 1995 where a liability to pay a Class K PRSI contribution of 4% on their local authority income arises.
PRSI Class S contributors are covered for a range of social insurance benefits. These are the State pension (contributory), widow's, widower's or surviving civil partner's pension (contributory), guardian’s payment (contributory), maternity and adoptive benefits, paternity benefit, treatment benefits (from March 2017), invalidity pension (from December 2017), jobseeker’s benefit (self-employed) and parent’s benefit (from November 2019).
I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.