Pay Related Social Insurance(PRSI) Contributions and Classes - Explained


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Table of Contents

INSURABILITY

What is PRSI?
Who pays PRSI?
How is PRSI calculated?

PRSI CONTRIBUTION CLASSES

How are PRSI rates determined?
Deciding the correct PRSI Class
Refunds

COLLECTION OF CONTRIBUTIONS

Employees
Self-employed
More Information

CLASSES OF CONTRIBUTIONS IN DETAIL

Private/Public Sector Employments
PRSI Class A
PRSI Class J
PRSI Class E
Public Sector Employments
PRSI Class B
PRSI Class C
PRSI Class D
PRSI Class H
Non-employee income
PRSI Class K
PRSI Class M
PRSI Class S
PRSI Class P

INSURABILITY

1. What is Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI)?

Pay related social insurance (PRSI) contributions go to the Social Insurance Fund (SIF) which helps pay for Social Welfare benefits and pensions.

2. Who pays PRSI?

With very few exceptions:

  • all employees whether full-time or part-time earning €38 or more per week
  • self-employed workers with an income of €5,000 a year or more

who are aged 16 or over and under pensionable age, are liable for Pay-Related Social Insurance (PRSI) contributions.

The employers of the above employees, are liable for Pay-Related Social Insurance (PRSI) contributions on the reckonable earnings of the employee (including notional pay).

See separate guideline on "Scope (Insurability of Employment)" for more detail.

Modified rate contributors who have self-employed income from a trade or profession, are liable for PRSI contributions on this income and any unearned income they have.

From 1st January 2014, employed contributors and occupational pensioners aged under 66 years whose only additional income is unearned may be liable for PRSI contributions on this income.

How is PRSI Calculated?

PRSI contributions will be payable on the following basis:

  • At the appropriate rate for an employee on all reckonable earnings (including notional pay).
  • The employer's share at the appropriate rate on the reckonable earnings of the employee (including notional pay)/ The employer's contribution for classes A and H includes a 0.7% National Tranining Fund Levy.
  • For the self-employed at Class S (social insurance at 4% an ALL reckonable income).

Employees covered under Classes A, B, C, D and H with reckonable earnings of not more than €352 do not pay PRSI for that week. However, the employer's share of PRSI remains payable as normal. Employees continue to be covered for the benefits and pensions appropriate to their PRSI Class. Once earnings exceed €352 both employee and employer PRSI is charged.

Reckonable earnings for PRSI purposes are gross pay including notional pay (or benefit in kind) if applicable, plus superannuation and permanent health insurance contributions made by an employee. These payments may be allowable for income tax purposes.


PRSI CONTRIBUTION CLASSES

How are PRSI rates determined?

In general, PRSI contribution classes are decided by the nature of a person's employment. PRSI contribution classes are further divided into subclasses – the sub class is determined by the amount of employee's weekly gross reckonable earnings: 0 and 1 common to most classes, and X applicable to Class A, B, C, D and H only.

Certain sub-classes also cater for specific schemes;

  • Sub-classes A8 and A9 apply to Community Employment participants and people on Jobs Initiative
  • Sub-classes A4, A6 and A7 are used for the Employers Exemption Scheme

The type of employment in each PRSI contribution class and the social insurance benefits are outlined in SW 14.

Deciding the correct PRSI Class

If there is any doubt as to whether PRSI should be paid or which Class of PRSI should apply, the Department's Scope Section may be asked to decide the issue. (See separate guideline on Scope)

Where a decision results in the PRSI Class changing to a higher rate of PRSI, arrears will be collected by a Social Welfare Inspector from the Employer.

Where a decision results in the PRSI Class changing to a lower rate of PRSI, a refund can be claimed from PRSI Refunds Section, after the tax year ends. However, if the decision refers to the current tax year the employer should make the necessary adjustment to correct the error before the end of the tax year.

Refunds

If a person has overpaid PRSI contributions an application for a refund should be made after the tax year ends. With effect from 1 January 2010, an application for the return of PRSI contributions must be made within four years of the last day of the contribution year in respect of which the contributions concerned were paid.

Application for a refund should be sent to:

PRSI Refunds Section
Department of Social Protection
Oisin House
212-213 Pearse Street
Dublin 2.
Tel: (01) 6732586

COLLECTION OF CONTRIBUTIONS

Employees

Most employees pay PRSI through Revenue's PAYE system. However, employees who do not pay tax through the PAYE system pay PRSI on their earnings through the special collection system operated by the Department of Social Protection. Note: Employees who hold PAYE Exclusion orders pay PRSI through the PAYE system with effect from 1st January 2011.

The special collection system includes employees:

  • who continue to be insured under Irish social security law while working abroad under provisions of EU Regulations, Bilateral Agreements or Statutory Instrument 312 of 1996.
  • who pay PRSI as employees but are self-assessed for income tax purposes - for example, sub-postmasters, social welfare branch managers and medical consultants employed on a fee basis by the Health Service Executive (HSE).
  • who are employees of Embassies and certain conditions apply.
  • who are in receipt of Share based remuneration where the employee realises a gain in respect of tax exempt share options granted and at the time the options are exercised, the employee is no longer an employee of the employer who granted the options (see PRSI SBR 1 on www.welfare.ie).
  • who are Domestic Employees employed in the home of their employer on domestic duties only, and who earn less than €40 per week in the domestic employment (see leaflet IT 53 on www.revenue.ie).
  • whose earnings are paid from an employer's office or residence outside the State and the employer is not obliged to register for PAYE with Revenue (see Statement of Practice - IT/3/07 on www.revenue.ie).
  • who are Church of Ireland Ministers employed by the Representative Church Body of Ireland.
  • who are SOLAS Trainees.

PRSI contributions for these employees are paid direct to The Accountant, Department of Social Protection, Government Buildings, St Alphonsus Road, Dundalk, Co Louth.

Enquiries to:

PRSI Special Collection Section
Social Welfare Services Office
Department of Social Protection
Cork Road
Waterford.

Locall 1890 690 690 (from the Republic of Ireland only)
Telephone + 353 1 4715898 (from Northern Ireland or overseas)

Self-employed

In general, the vast majority of self-employed people pay their PRSI contributions to the Revenue Commissioners when paying their income tax. However, there are certain categories of people who do not, such as:

  1. A self-employed Company Director where PRSI is deducted under the PAYE system
  2. Those with income of €5,000 or over and who have been advised by the Inspector of Taxes that they need not make a return of income, are liable to pay a flat rate PRSI contribution to
    Client Eligibility Services
    Social Welfare Services Office
    Department of Social Protection
    Cork Road
    Waterford.

    Locall 1890 690 690 (from the Republic of Ireland only)
    Telephone + 353 1 4715898 (from Northern Ireland or overseas)

More Information

For further details of the PRSI contribution collection system contact:

Information Services
Department of Social Protection
Social Welfare Services Office
College Road
Sligo

Lo Call 1890 66 22 44 (From the Republic of Ireland only)
Telephone +353 71 9157100 (from Northern Ireland or overseas)

CLASSES OF CONTRIBUTIONS IN DETAIL

Private/Public Sector Employments

(Classes A, J and E)

PRSI Class A

People within CLASS A:

People in industrial, commercial and service-type employment who are employed under a contract of service with reckonable pay of EUR38.00 or more per week from all employments; Civil and Public Servants recruited from 6 April, 1995 and Community Employment participants from 6 April, 1996.

Class A Benefits

Jobseekers Benefit
Illness Benefit
Maternity Benefit
Adoptive Benefit
Health and Safety Benefit
Invalidity Pension
Widow/Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Contributory) Pension
Guardians Payment (Contributory)
State Pension (Contributory)
*State Pension (Transition)
Treatment Benefit
Occupational Injuries Benefit
Carers Benefit

*The State Pension (transition) will no longer be paid where a person reaches 65 on or after 1 January 2014.

PRSI Class J

People within CLASS J:

  • People in industrial, commercial and service-type employment who are employed under a contract of service and whose gross earnings are less than €38 per week from all employments;
  • People insured for Occupational Injuries Benefits only, e.g. employees aged 66 years or over;
  • People participating in certain FÁS training schemes who are insurable for Occupational Injuries Benefits only, and
  • People whose employment is of a subsidiary nature or of inconsiderable extent, e.g. people insurable at Class B, C, D or H in their main employment and who have a second job; attendants at Department of Education Examinations; Presiding Officers and Poll Clerks at Elections, and R.D.F. members on annual training.

Class J Benefits

  • Occupational Injuries Benefits
PRSI Class E

People within CLASS E:

Ministers of religion employed by the Church of Ireland Representative Body

Class E Benefits
Illness Benefit
Maternity Benefit
Adoptive Benefit
Health and Safety Benefit
Invalidity Pension
Widow/Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Contributory) Pension
Guardians Payment (Contributory)
State Pension (Contributory)
*State Pension (Transition)
Treatment Benefit
Carers Benefit

*The State Pension (transition) will no longer be paid where a person reaches 65 on or after 1 January 2014.

Public Sector Employments

(Classes B, C, D, H.)

PRSI Class B

People within CLASS B:

Permanent and pensionable Civil Servants, Registered Doctors and Dentists employed in the Civil Service and Gardaí, recruited prior to 6 April, 1995.

Class B Benefits
Widow/Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Contributory) Pension
Guardians Payment (Contributory)
Limited Occupational Injuries Benefit
Carers Benefit
PRSI Class C

People within CLASS C:

Commissioned Army Officers and Members of the Army Nursing Service, recruited prior to 6 April, 1995.

Class C Benefits
Widow/Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Contributory) Pension
Guardians Payment (Contributory)
Carers Benefit
PRSI Class D

People within CLASS D:

Permanent and pensionable employees in the public service other than those mentioned in Classes B and C, recruited prior to 6 April, 1995.

Class D Benefits
Widow/Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Contributory) Pension
Guardians Payment (Contributory)
Occupational Injuries Benefits
Carers Benefit
PRSI Class H

People within CLASS H:

Non Commissioned Officer's and enlisted personnel of the Defence Forces.

Class H Benefits
Jobseekers Beenfit
Illness Benefit
Maternity Benefit
Adoptive Benefit
Health and Safety Benefit
Invalidity Pension
Widow/Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Contributory) Pension
Guardians Payment (Contributory)
State Pension (Contributory)
*State Pension (Transition)
Treatment Benefit
Carers Benefit

*The State Pension (transition) will no longer be paid where a person reaches 65 on or after 1 January 2014.

Only certain benefits are payable during service

Non-employee income

(Classes K, M, S and P)

PRSI Class K

People within CLASS K:

Class K applies to certain public representatives (the President, the holder of a "qualifying office", member of the Oireachtas and the judiciary, certain military judges, the Attorney General, the Comptroller and Auditor General, member of a local authority and certain members of the European Parliament), who earn over €5,200 a year. These Public Office holders pay PRSI at a rate of 4% on all income.

Any of these specified public representatives who earn €5,200 a year or less (€100 a week or less) have a nil liability – see Class M.

Class K also applies to the additional earned self-employed income from a trade or profession of a modified rate contributor and on any unearned income they have.

From 1st January 2014, Class K may also apply to the unearned income of employed contributors and occupational pensioners aged under 66 years where this is the only additional income.

Class K Benefits

Nil

PRSI Class M

People within CLASS M:

PRSI Class M is used for people with no contribution liability such as:

  • employees under age 16 or
  • people aged 66 or over (including those previously liable for Class S)
  • persons in receipt of occupational pensions or lump-sum termination payments
  • people within Class K with a nil liability (public office holders with a weekly income of less than €100 a week).

Class M Benefits

Occupational Injuries Benefits, in certain cases

PRSI Class S

People within CLASS S:

Self-employed people such as farmers, certain company directors, people in business on their own account and certain people with income from investments, rents and maintenance.

Class S Benefits
Widow/Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Contributory) Pension
Guardians Payment (Contributory)
*State Pension (Contributory)
Maternity Benefit
Adoptive Benefit

*The State Pension (transition) will no longer be paid where a person reaches 65 on or after 1 January 2014.

PRSI Class P

(Optional)

People within CLASS P:

Sharefishermen/women who are classified as Self-Employed and who are already paying PRSI under Class S. This contribution is over and above the PRSI paid under Class S. The minimum annual contribution for Class P is EUR 200.

Class P Benefits
Limited Jobseekers Benefit (See relevant guideline)
Limited Illness Benefit (See relevant guideline)
Treatment Benefit
Last modified:05/06/2013
 

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