The Defence Forces pension schemes provide occupational pension benefits for members of the Permanent Defence Force (PDF). They cover serving members and pensioners, including dependants of deceased members.
The main benefits of the Defence Forces Pension Schemes are:
A person’s actual pension scheme terms and superannuation benefits (e.g. pension and lump sum) depend on the date he/she joins the PDF and whether they are in officer or enlisted ranks. The main difference in pension terms apply depending on the following dates of joining:
There are also differences between the pension terms and benefits of officers who joined before 6 April 1995 (on ‘modified’ PRSI – Class C) or joined on or after 6 April 1995 (on full PRSI – Class A). For those who join on or after 6 April 1995 and are fully covered for PRSI, their contributions and benefits are subject to integration with the State Pension Contributory.
The Defence Forces pension schemes are ‘defined benefit’ in nature, as is the case with public service pension schemes generally. This means that the pension benefits are set out or defined in the scheme rules.
Like the vast majority of public service pension schemes, the Defence Forces superannuation arrangements are financed by the State on a ‘Pay As You Go’ basis, that is, as part of current expenditure, voted in the annual estimates. In effect, the liabilities (costs) are met as and when they arise. For military pensioners this is done through the Army Pensions Vote which is audited each year by the Comptroller & Auditor General. The management and administration of the Defence Forces pension code is carried out by officials of the Department of Defence.
[Click here for booklets on relevant occupational pension schemes.]