Social Insurance and Pensions

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Comhlámh is responsible for administering the Volunteer Development Worker Scheme on behalf of the Department of Social Protection which has special arrangements in place to protect the social welfare rights of Volunteer Development Workers (VDWs).We also administer the Public Service Pension Scheme for Volunteer Development Workers on behalf of Irish Aid (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade).

Special note about social insurance and pensions.

Part of preparing for an assignment overseas should include thinking about your options for remaining within the Irish social insurance system.  Considering one’s options for social protection may seem unimportant now, however it becomes extremely important for returning volunteers/development workers in accessing short-term benefits upon return, such as Unemployment Benefit, Maternity Benefit, and Treatment Benefits and for state pension entitlements upon reaching retirement age.  The Support Services team in Comhlamh is available to provide information on current options for remaining within the Irish social insurance system.

For further information please contact us on 01-4783490 or email

If you are a public servant serving as a development worker after 1 January 1995 on an authorised leave of absence or career break you may be entitled to avail of the Public Service Pension Scheme.


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