Will living abroad for half the year affect my pension?

Ask the Experts: I plan to split my retirement between Ireland and Australia

My two kids now live in Australia, and I plan to split my retirement between there and Ireland. Will it affect my pension entitlements?

My two kids now live in Australia, and I plan to split my retirement between there and Ireland. Will it affect my pension entitlements?

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Question:

I worked in one of the Irish banks from 1980 until 2002 and was part of the defined benefit pension scheme. I then moved abroad for the last 16 years and was in a number of countries, as my husband was transferred with his job quite a bit.

My two kids now live in Australia, and I plan to spend my retirement partially in Ireland and partially in Australia. Do you think living overseas for six months or more will affect the pension benefits that I have built up in my occupational pension, or the Irish State pension that I might receive?

Answer: Jerry Moriarty, chief executive, Irish Association of Pension Funds (IAPF)

Living overseas shouldn’t have any impact on your occupational pension as under Irish pensions law it would have been “preserved”. You should contact the trustees of the scheme to check the current value of it and when it is due to be paid to you. You should also ensure the trustees have your current address, so they can contact you when the payment is due.

Your Irish State pension is calculated based on the total and average PRSI contributions you paid while working in Ireland. However, you can also benefit from contributions paid while working in EU countries or other countries that Ireland has an agreement with including Canada, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Japan, Republic of Korea and Quebec (which has a separate system from the rest of Canada).

You should contact the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection who will be able to provide you with your PRSI record and will discuss your entitlements with you.

Have a query for our panel of experts about emigrating, life abroad or moving home? Click here to submit yours.This column is a reader service and is not intended to replace professional advice. Unfortunately we cannot provide personal responses to every query and only those selected for publication will be answered.

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