October 24, 2023
Irish workers can continue working after age 66 while receiving their State Pension payments. Learn how it works and get answers to related FAQs.
Article written by
Reaching the State Pension age in Ireland doesn't mean you must quit work and retire.
Ireland allows its workers to work past the age of 66 while claiming their State Pension.
But there’s a catch.
If you’re receiving the State Pension (Contributory), working after 66 won’t affect your pension entitlements. However, your pension payment may be affected if you receive the State Pension (Non-Contributory).
Let’s discuss it in detail.
Explore Ireland’s State Pension (Contributory) and learn everything you must know about eligibility, payment rates, and the application process.
Don’t qualify for the Contributory State Pension? Read our detailed guide about joining the State Pension (Non-Contributory) in Ireland.
Understand how Irish Pension Schemes work and the taxes you must pay on your pension income.
Irish workers can continue working full-time or part-time while claiming the State Pension.
The State Pension is a weekly payment made by the government to people aged 66 or above and is of two types:
State Pension (Contributory)
State Pension (Non-Contributory)
If you receive the State Pension (Contributory), working while claiming the State Pension will not affect your pension entitlements.
But if you’re not qualified for a contributory State Pension payment and receive the State Pension (Non-Contributory), your pension entitlements may be affected.
You will receive the State Pension (Non-Contributory) at a reduced rate since it’s a means-tested payment.
A means test assesses all your income sources to check if you qualify for the payment.
Cash income earned through employment, self-employment, occupational/private pensions, and capital like savings, investments, and property (except your home) is assessed in a means test.
Although there is no fixed retirement age in Ireland, most employees retire around 65. However, some employment contracts may specify a mandatory retirement age.
Psst…Your retirement age isn’t the same as the State Pension age (66), which is when you qualify for the State Pension.
If you wish to work beyond the retirement age:
You must make a request to your employer at least three months before your retirement date. Your employer will then meet with you and inform you about their decision.
If your employer accepts your request, they must offer you a fixed-term contract stating the contract’s length and other legal details.
If the employer rejects your request, you can challenge their decision, and a union representative can help you with the appeal.
You can also choose to work after retiring from your old job and join the same field or industry or take up an entirely different career.
Let’s see how joining different employment sectors can impact your State Pensions.
Public Sector: If you plan to rejoin the public sector after the age of 66, your public service pensions (public sector occupational pensions set up by the government) will be reduced. As for the State Pensions, if you have joined the public sector after the age of 66:
Your State Pension (Contributory) allowance won’t be affected as it depends on your PRSI contributions record. However, the government doesn’t accept PRSI contributions past the age of 66, so you won’t be able to contribute more money to your government pensions after reaching the normal retirement age.
Your State Pension (Non-Contributory) payments may be reduced as it's a means-tested payment that assesses all your cash income from sources like employment, self-employment, and personal and occupational pensions.
Private Sector: If you were working in the private sector and your employer added you to their occupational pension scheme, you can continue to work for your employer or become self-employed. This won’t affect your occupational pension entitlements.
You can receive the State Pension (Contributory) payments while working and receiving other income, such as occupational and private (personal) pensions. But, you must check with your employer if their scheme allows you to contribute to your occupational pension scheme after 66.
You may or may not receive the State Pension (Non-Contributory) entitlements because, as mentioned above, it’s a means-tested payment.
Wondering about tax relief on your contributions?
Here are some commonly asked questions about the Irish State Pension:
The State Pension in Ireland is a social welfare payment made by the Department of Social Protection.
It’s a weekly payment for people aged 66 and above to help them sustain their basic cost of living in retirement.
Two State Pension schemes are available in Ireland:
State Pension (Contributory): It depends on your social insurance contributions (PRSI) record.
State Pension (Non-Contributory): It’s a means-tested payment.
The personal rates and maximum rates for both schemes vary as you can get an increase for qualified adult dependents (IQA) and qualified child dependents (IQC).
The State Pension is paid to workers aged 66 and above. This qualifying age is known as the State Pension age.
You must apply at least 3 months before you turn 66 to claim the State Pension (contributory or non-contributory).
If you’re an Irish citizen working abroad, you must apply for the State Pension at least 6 months before you turn 66.
You can’t claim both the non-contributory pension and the contributory pension at the same time.
But you can apply for both of them, and the Department of Social Protection will assess your eligibility based on your PRSI (Pay Related Social Insurance) contributions record and decide which scheme will benefit you.
You can claim the Irish State Pension (Contributory) if you live or work outside Ireland.
However, you can’t claim the State Pension (Non-Contributory) because it requires you to reside in Ireland to qualify for the pension payments.
If you work or live in other European countries:
You can combine your contributions in each EU member state with your Irish social insurance record.
You can also be eligible for a pro-rata pension (a portion of a full pension) if you don’t have enough Irish social insurance contributions.
Even though the UK left the EU in 2020, Irish citizens residing in the UK can still receive the Irish State Pension (Contributory) based on their social insurance contribution records.
If you work or live outside the UK or other EU countries:
You can claim the State Pension if you have worked or lived in countries such as the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and the Republic of Korea.
Ireland has signed bilateral social security agreements with these countries, which allows Irish workers to join the State Pension scheme.
To claim the State Pension from abroad, send your application form by post to the Department of Social Protection in Ireland at:
Department of Social Protection
Tel: (071) 915 7100 or 0818 200 400.
They will contact the relevant institution in your country of residence to start the pension claim process.
You cannot claim the State Pension (Non-Contributory) if you live outside Ireland. However, if you’ve moved to Northern Ireland, you may continue to get the non-contributory State Pension payments for the next five years.
As of October 2023, you can continue working full-time after 66 while receiving your pension payment for as long as you want.
However, you will receive your pension entitlement at your standard personal rate (please contact the DSP for information about the increases for qualified adults and child dependents).
From January 2024 onwards, the Irish government will introduce a new flexible pension age model.
This new model also allows you to continue working for as long as you wish while claiming the State Pension. However, it will give you greater flexibility in terms of the age you can start drawing down the State Pension.
Pension payments for those working until 70 will increase by approximately 5% for each year they work beyond 66.
So, by age 70, Irish workers will get a higher pension entitlement of up to 24% on retirement.
According to a 2023 survey by Ireland’s Retirement Planning Council (RPC), 55% of Irish workers (above 50 years of age) plan to continue working full-time after retirement.
The main reasons cited by the workers were the high cost of living in Ireland, the need to stay active and engaged, maintain social connections, and passion for their work.
As an employer, you can help your employees boost their retirement savings by supplementing their retirement income and offering extra retirement benefits with Kota.
Kota is a digital pension app that lets you:
Enrol your employees in award-winning workplace pension schemes compliantly.
Set flexible pension contribution levels for you and your employees.
Sync pensions with your HR and payroll tools for easy management.
All that and more without incurring any brokerage or administrative costs!
Built for teams of today, like yours.
Zero commitments – get started for free