Public Service Pension Scheme for Development Workers

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I am a public servant; can I protect my PSP while on assignment?

Yes – public servants may be able to get their pension contributions paid under the Public Service Pension Scheme for VDWs under certain conditions.

When did the PSPS for VDWs begin?

The Scheme applies to service after 1 January 1995.

Is there a minimum amount of time I must be on assignment?

Yes.  The Scheme is available to those who serve overseas for six consecutive months or more, up to a maximum of two years.

Does my assignment have to be co-funded by Irish Aid to be eligible?

Yes.  To avail of the Scheme, you assignment must be co-funded by Irish Aid.

If I join a PSPS during my assignment, am I am eligible to avail of the PSPS for VDWs?

No.  You, the applicant, must be a member of a public service pension scheme at the start of your assignment.

Is cover for the dates of my assignment overseas or the dates of my career break/leave of absence or contractual dates?

Cover under the Scheme is available for the actual time you are overseas on assignment and not actual contract dates or dates you are on a career break or authorized leave of absence.

Do I have to be on an authorized leave of absence or career break?

It is a feature of the Scheme that you are required to be on an authorized leave of absence or a career break while on assignment.

Is there a maximum amount I can earn while on assignment to be eligible?

Yes.  The Scheme is open to those who are on ‘volunteer terms’. Contact Comhlámh for more information about this criteria.

Does my assignment have to be in a developing country?

Yes. In general, a country on the List of Recipients of Official Development Assistancedrawn up by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development is considered a developing country.

Is my pension paying authority (PPA) the same as my employer?

Not necessarily.  Check with your Human Resources Department who your PPA is.

What is Comhlámh’s role with regard to the PSPS for VDWs?

Comhlámh role is to ensure that you meet the criteria of the Scheme e.g. verifying conditions of a career break, verifying the length of assignment etc. Our role is also to request an invoice from your PPA when we know that you are home and ensure that payment is made in a timely fashion.

Before I go overseas, what do I have to do?

Before you go overseas, you need to complete part 1 of the application form for the PSPS for VDWs.  Then ask your employer to complete part 2 and send the form to your sending agency to complete part 3.  Your application form should then be sent to Comhlámh to verify your assignment and confrim with Irish Aid that your assignment is co-funded.

When I return from my assignment is there anything that I need to do?

As soon as you return from your assignment, it is important that you let Comhlámh know so that we can request an invoice from your PPA and organize payment. Following this, check that your PPA has invoiced Comhlámh for your contributions. As the volunteer/development worker, it is your responsibility to ensure that an invoice is sent to Comhlámh.

Is there a time limit for claims?

Yes.  All claims for payment must be made within twelve months of the end of the qualifying service, after which neither Irish Aid nor Comhlámh can accept any responsibility in the matter.

How will I know when Comhlámh has paid my contributions?

When Comhlámh has issued a cheque to your PPA upon receipt of an invoice, we will write to you, and confirm the date of payment, the amount, and whom it was paid to.

I still have questions about the PSPS for VDWs – who can I talk to?

Please contact the office for info.

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