Gardaí retiring from November will have to make ‘false declaration’ they are available for work - GRA

Department of Public Expenditure says it is ‘actively engaging with stakeholders to develop more streamlined process’ for those retiring under pension changes introduced in 1995

Gardaí who retire later this year will have to make “false declarations” to the Department of Social Protection about their availability to work to secure their full entitlements, their representative organisation has said.

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) said pension changes introduced across the public service in April 1995 will affect gardaí who retire from November this year.

On foot of the 1995 reforms payment after retirement is made up of a number of components: an occupational pension, social insurance benefits and a supplementary pension subject to the individual meeting eligibility requirements.

The GRA said that because gardaí have to retire earlier than other public service staff they could spend 10 years or so receiving the supplementary pension of about €14,000 before reaching the age for obtaining the State pension.


The GRA said that for a period of nine months after retirement and before they receive the supplementary pension, gardaí would be required to sign on for job seeker allowance.

It said that during this period gardaí who had retired would be obliged to sign a declaration that they were available for work.

It said in many cases gardaí reaching retirement age will just want to retire and that they would, in effect, be making a false declaration.

It said that under existing rules, gardaí who had retired and who were declaring that they were available for work would not be allowed to leave the country for more than 14 days.

GRA general secretary Ronan Slevin said the Government treated the supplementary pension “as a benefit rather than an entitlement after 30 years of service”.

The Department of Public Expenditure said it was aware of the issues with regard to the current procedure for applying for supplementary pensions. It said it was “actively engaging with stakeholders to develop a more streamlined administrative process”.

It said that for people who entered the public service (including members of An Garda Síochána) on or after April 6th, 1995 and before January 1st, 2013, pension payment is made up of three components: a public service occupational pension; social insurance benefit; and an occupational supplementary pension in cases where the social insurance benefit does not equate to the full rate of State pension contributory.

The Department of Public Expenditure said payment of an occupational supplementary pension was not automatic and was subject to an individual meeting the following criteria:

• The retired public servant is not in full-time paid employment;

• The retired public servant, due to no fault of their own, fails to qualify for social insurance benefit(s) or qualifies for a benefit at less that the value of the SPC; and

• The retired public servant must have reached minimum pension age or retired on grounds of ill-health.

The Department said: “The second condition is important to ensure no duplication of payments from public funds. To verify this condition, before payment of the occupational supplementary pension, a retired public servant must engage with the Department of Social Protection and obtain proof that they have exhausted any relevant benefits for which they may be eligible under the social insurance system.”

It said the rules surrounding qualifying for a social insurance benefit were a matter for the Department of Social Protection.

Martin Wall

Martin Wall

Martin Wall is the former Washington Correspondent of The Irish Times. He was previously industry correspondent