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Irish Payments

Under the provisions of the Agreement, contributions paid in the U.S.A. can be used to satisfy the PRSI conditions for Irish payments.

However, you must have a minimum amount of Irish PRSI contributions to be eligible to combine U.S.A. and Irish Social Security contributions.

In the case of State Pension (Contributory), State Pension (Transition), Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Contributory) Pension and Invalidity Pension, you will need to have worked in Ireland and have a minimum of 52 Irish contributions paid or credited.

Once these conditions are satisfied a formula (see below) is used in order to establish the rate payable for:

  • State Pension (Contributory),
  • State Pension (Transition),
  • Invalidity Pension, and
  • Widow's, Widower's and Surviving Civil Partner's (Contributory) Pension.

Formula for calculating pension where Irish and U.S.A. contributions are involved.

Total number of Irish contributions
multiplied by
Amount of pension due if all the contributions were made in Ireland
and then divide by
Total combined contributions in Ireland and the U.S.A.

The social insurance conditions vary slightly depending on the other country or countries involved.


The following is an example of how we work out a pension if you have social insurance paid both in Ireland and the U.S.A. You have 280 Irish and 560 U.S.A. contributions over 35 years from the date you started insurable employment up to the end of the tax year before you reach pension age.

Step 1

We work out the 'notional' pension that you would get if all your contributions, both Irish and the U.S.A., were Irish contributions. To do this, we add together the Irish and the U.S.A. contributions and then we divide the total by the number of years to get the yearly average number of contributions.

280 Irish + 560 U.S.A. 840
840 � 35 years 24

A yearly average of 24 Irish contributions would give a weekly personal pension of �225.80* (notional amount). *These figures are based on State Pension rates as at January 2011.

Step 2

We multiply the notional pension by the number of Irish contributions and divide the answer by the total number of contributions. This gives the pro-rata pension payment.

Personal amount
�225.80 x 280 �75.27

If you qualify to receive an Increase for a Qualified Adult (IQA) with your Irish pension, we multiply the notional amount, including the IQA, by the number of Irish contributions and divide the answer by the total number of contributions.

Personal amount plus Increase for a Qualified Adult under 66  
�379.30 x 280 �126.43

These figures are based on State Pension rates as at January 2011.

Guardian's Payment (Contributory), Bereavement Grant

Once entitlement to a Guardian's Payment (Contributory) or Bereavement Grant has been established either by virtue of Irish contributions alone or by a combination of Irish and U.S.A. contributions, the full appropriate rate is payable.

U.S.A. Payments

If you have at least 6 quarters (78 weeks) of social security contributions in the U.S.A. but do not qualify for payment/pension under U.S.A. laws, then your Irish social insurance contributions can be used for payment/pension entitlement purposes.

If you then become entitled to benefit from the U.S.A., you will qualify for a Pro-Rata payment from the U.S.A. authorities based on:

  • your average earnings under U.S.A. laws,
  • the ratio of your U.S.A. social security contributions to the duration of a coverage lifetime in accordance with U.S.A. law.
Last modified:14/03/2011

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