Information Circular No 30/2013: ‘Additional Increment’ Under the Pre-April 2004 Defence Forces Pensions Schemes – Implications of Change to State Pension Age From 1st January 2014

By Industrial Relations Officer

From 1st January 2014, the State Pension age is increasing to age 66, and depending on when a person was born is set to rise on a phased basis to age 67 in 2021 and to age 68 in 2028.  The State Pension (Transition) – currently payable from age 65 to 66 – will cease to exist from 1st January 2014.

This means that under the pre-April 2004 Defence Forces pensions schemes, the ‘Additional Increment’ – payable to a retired NCO or Private for each year of service in excess of 21 years up to a maximum of 31 years – ceases payment*:

  • When the pensioner reaches the qualifying age of 66, 67 or 68 (as appropriate in his/her case) for a State Pension (Contributory), or
  • If they become entitled before 1st January 2014 to a Retirement Pension (Contributory) at age 65.

*This does not affect the 21-year pension.


These arrangements are in accordance with the long established principle of integrating occupational pensions with Social Insurance benefits of employees who are in full PRSI class.  This includes NCOs and Privates, who are fully insured for the range of benefits under the Social Welfare Acts such as the State Pension.

Integration means that a person’s entitlement to Social Insurance benefits such as the State Pension is taken into account when calculating the rate of occupational pension payable.  The State Pension etc. is regarded as part of the overall pension package payable to the individual.  The integration principle applies right across the public service and, indeed, in many areas of the private sector as well as in other countries.

Qualification for Social Welfare payments is a matter for the Department of Social Protection (DSP) to decide under its rules.  Additional background information can be found on their website


Issued on: 31/10/2013

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