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GUIDELINES USED BY PRSI SECTIONS IN WATERFORD

Table of Contents

VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS
(1) Definition
(2) Administration
(3) Qualifying Conditions
(4) Rates of Contributions
(5) Payment of contributions


VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS

(1) Definition

A person under the age of 66 who ceases to be covered by compulsory PRSI may opt to become a Voluntary Contributor, provided certain conditions are satisfied.

Voluntary Contributions continue to provide cover for certain long term benefits such as pensions. They do not give cover for other short term benefits such as Jobseekers, Illness or Treatment Benefit.

The Legislation dealing with voluntary contributions is Chapter 4 of Part II of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005, and Articles 28 to 37 of the Social Welfare (Consolidated Contributions and Insurability) Regulations, 1996 (SI 312 of 1996).

An information leaflet a "Guide to Voluntary Contributions", SW 8, is available.

(2) Administration

Voluntary Contributions Section
Social Welfare Services Office
Department of Social Protection
Cork Road
Waterford

(3) Qualifying Conditions

In order to be admitted as a voluntary contributor, a person must:-

  • have at least 364 weeks *PRSI paid under compulsory insurance in either employment or self-employment, and
  • apply within 12 months after the end of the contribution year during which they last paid compulsory insurance or during which they were last awarded a credited contribution ('credit'). In exceptional circumstances this period may be extended at the discretion of the Minister.
  • agree to pay Voluntary Contributions from the start of the contribution week after the week in which they cease compulsory insurance.
  • *you must have previously paid 468 weeks PRSI if becoming a voluntary contributor on or after 6 April 2014
  • *you must have previously paid 520 weeks PRSI if becoming a voluntary contributor on or after 6 April 2015

Contributions paid at Class J (Occupational Injuries Benefit) cannot be used to satisfy these conditions. However, it is possible to pay PRSI at Class J and Voluntary Contributions at the same time.

(4) Rates of Contributions

There are three different rates of voluntary contributions.

High Rate:

Payable at 6.6% by those who last paid contributions at class A, E or H. Subject to a minimum annual payment of €500.

Cover provided for:-

  • State Pension (transition),
  • State Pension (contributory),
  • Widow's or Widower's Contributory Pension,
  • Guardian's (contributory) Allowance,
  • Bereavement Grant.
Low Rate:

Payable at 2.6% by those who last paid contributions at class B, C or D. Subject to a minimum annual payment of €250.

Cover provided for:-

  • Widow's or Widower's Contributory Pension,
  • Guardian's's (contributory) Allowance,
  • Bereavement Grant.
Special Rate:

Payable at a flat rate of €500 by those who were previously self employed.

Cover provided for:-

  • State Pension (Contributory),
  • Widow's or Widower's Contributory Pension,
  • Guardian's (Contributory) Allowance,
  • Bereavement Grant.

A list of the current rates are contained in Information Leaflet SW 19.

5. Payment of contributions

All payments should be made direct to the Department's Accounts Branch in either a lump sum at the end of the contribution year or by Quarterly/Half yearly instalments.

Voluntary contributions should be paid before the end of the contribution year to which they relate. However, payments can be accepted up to five months late, or exceptionally up to a year late where the contributor shows good cause for the delay.

If the contribution is not paid within the specified time the person shall cease to be a voluntary contributor, and any monies paid thereafter shall be refunded. (SI 312/96, Articles 35 and 36).

Payments for voluntary contributions do not include the Health Contribution, these payments should be made direct to the Revenue Commissioners.

When the full amount (100%) of voluntary contributions charged has been paid 52 voluntary contributions should be awarded. Where less than the full amount of voluntary contributions has been paid, no contributions should be awarded.

Great care should be taken when awarding contributions and the checking of translists to ensure that the correct information is held on the Departments records.


Last modified:01/07/2010
 

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