Under the terms of the transfer scheme, each member body will have an operative date for the purposes of processing their transfer of service cases. Bodies are obliged to honour transfers of service after the agreed operative date.
A transfer of service case is determined to be pre- or post-operative based on the individual’s date of leaving the first organisation (and not the date of the request to transfer their service).
Where a transfer of service occurs between participating bodies that have different operative dates, the later of the two dates will apply.
Crediting of reckonable service
Transferred service will be treated for pension purposes as if it were actually accrued in the second organisation’s pension scheme, and becomes subject to the rules of that pension scheme once transferred. The service credit given on transfer will be:
- actual service, in the case of a standard accrual pension scheme, resulting in ‘year for year’ credit.
- proportionately adjusted, in the case of transfers to or from a fast accrual scheme (known as ‘uniform accrual’).
System of contributions
Section 4 of the 1963 Act provided that an appropriate contribution may be made from the first organisation to the second organisation in respect of the transferred service, when payment of the pension benefit commences. The 1979 transfer scheme expanded on this to provide four possible contribution methods that bodies may apply under the PSTN. The contribution methods specify whether and how the earlier organisation will contribute towards the cost of the member’s pension benefits accrued while in the earlier employment. The four systems of contribution can be found in the PSTN List of Participants.
A body specifies their preferred method on joining the PSTN. Where a transfer occurs between two bodies whose contribution preferences differ, it is a matter for those bodies to agree which method will apply. The contribution method set for the first transfer applies on a reciprocal basis for all transfers between those bodies thereafter.
Transfers outside the PSTN
In general, service cannot be transferred to/from a body that is not a member of the PSTN. Other transfer arrangements include:
- Local Government Transfer Network (LGTN): The LGTN allows for transfers between an approved scheme and local authorities, or bodies to which the Local Government Superannuation Scheme (LGSS) 1998 applies as if they were local authorities. The LGTN is managed by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
- Transfer Values:
- Transfers out: A Transfer Value may be paid in respect of transfer of pension rights to certain EU institutions. Further information on EU transfers may be obtained from the Pension Policy Unit in the Department of Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform.
- Transfers in: it may be possible to have a Transfer Value paid from the scheme of a non-Network body (for example, a private pension arrangement) to a public service pension scheme. In these instances, the Transfer Value will be valued using the relevant purchase of notional service tables and converted into ‘years of service’ in the receiving public service pension scheme. ‘Year for year’ credit does not usually result.