Ireland - Your Guide to A New Beginning

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​Most employers and employees (over 16 years of age and under 66) pay social insurance (PRSI) pay contributions to the Social Insurance Fund. The contribution you pay depends on your earnings and occupation and therefore it is called a Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) contribution. Social insurance contributions are divided into different categories, known as classes or rates of contribution. The class and rate of contribution you pay is determined by the nature of your work.

Most people pay Class A PRSI. It applies to people in industrial, commercial and service type employment who are employed under a contract of service with a reckonable pay of €38 or more per week from employment.

Class A employees in 2016

  • If you are earning less than €352 gross per week (before tax is deducted), you will not pay any social insurance (you will be however still covered by Class A social insurance)
  • If you earn over €352 per week, you pay 4% PRSI on all your earnings. A new PRSI credit was introduced in 2016 which reduces the amount of PRSI payable for people earning between €352.01 and €424 per week. The credit is tapered and the amount of the credit depends on your earnings. The maximum credit is €12.
  • If you earn between €352.01 and €424 per week, the maximum credit of €12 is reduced by one-sixth of the amount of your weekly earnings over €352.01
  • There is no PRSI Credit once gross weekly earnings exceed €424
Please note:
Figures provided above were correct at time of publication.  However, these are subject to change. For more information log onto  

Social Welfare Assistance

Social assistance payments are for people who do not have enough PRSI contributions to qualify for the equivalent social insurance payments. An example would be a person who becomes unemployed, applies for Jobseeker's Benefit but fails to qualify because he or she has insufficient PRSI contributions. He or she can instead apply for Jobseeker's Allowance, which is a similar payment but is not based on the number of PRSI contributions paid. However, to get a social assistance payment you must be habitually resident in Ireland and you must pass a means test. For full information access

Transferring of Unemployment Benefit

Persons who have been in receipt of Unemployment Benefit in their own country (EU/EEA member state or Switzerland) are entitled to transfer that Unemployment Benefit (if eligible) from that country to Ireland for a three month period. The transfer is organised by the Social Security or Labour Office in the EU/EEA country of origin and the Irish Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
Last modified:10/02/2016