Most employers and employees (over 16 years of age) in Ireland pay social insurance contributions into Ireland's national Social Insurance Fund. In general, the payment of social insurance is compulsory. Your social insurance contributions in Ireland are referred to as PRSI (Pay Related Social Insurance) and they entitle you to a range of benefits that are administered by the Department of Social Protection. As an employee you pay social insurance (generally Class A) and your employer will also pay social insurance on your behalf. It is important therefore to inform your new employer of your Personal Public Service Number (PPS No.) as this will ensure that your combined social insurance contributions are recorded and that your entitlement to benefits is protected for the future.
If you are an employee, your social insurance contributions are deducted by your employer and collected by the Revenue Commissioners. The Revenue Commissioners then pay the money into the Social Insurance Fund. A record of the contributions you have paid is then sent to the Department of Social Protection. All records of your insurance contributions are kept by the Central Records section in the Department of Social Protection. In order to check your social insurance record, you will need your Personal Public Service Number (PPS No.).
The records of your social insurance contributions are very important for social welfare benefits you may need while working or unemployed. For example your Class A contributions may entitle you to Illness Benefit, Jobseeker's Benefit, Maternity Benefit, or Treatment Benefit. In the long term they are also important for your State Pension (Contributory). If your social insurance contributions have not been paid you may lose entitlement to a social welfare benefit or the amount of your pension may be reduced.
If you have worked in another country, your social insurance record in that country may help you qualify for benefits in Ireland. You can find out about moving to Ireland and your social security entitlements.
Your employer is responsible for deducting your social insurance contribution from your wages and paying it together with the employer’s contribution to the Revenue. The deduction is written on your payslip. If the amount paid to the Revenue is not correct the employer is responsible for making up the deficit. Your employer keeps a record of the insurance contributions you make and is obliged to give you a P60 at the end of each year and a P45 if you leave the employment.
P45: If you leave your employment your employer must give you a P45. This is a statement of your pay and the tax, Universal Social Charge (USC) and PRSI to date deducted by your employer. It is a very important document and you need it if:
If your employer does not give you a P45 you should ask for it.
P60: At the end of each tax year your employer must give you a P60 which is a statement of your pay and of the tax, USC and PRSI deducted by your employer during the year. The P60 has two parts and is an important document. If you need to claim a benefit you would send the second part to the Department of Social Protection as evidence of your paid PRSI contributions.
The amount of Universal Social Charge (USC) you have paid is also shown on your P60. The 2011 (year ending 31 December 2011) P60 includes two fields to report Universal Social Charge (gross pay for Universal Social Charge purposes and the amount of Universal Social Charge deducted). The P60 (for the year ending 31 December 2012) has been revised with additional fields to cater for cumulative USC.
Employer’s failure regarding PRSI obligations
If your employer does not issue you with a P60 or a P45 it may be that you have not been registered for PRSI by your employer. It also could be that you have been registered but your employer has not paid the PRSI contributions which are due or has not paid the correct amount. Under the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 1993 the employer is obliged to register all employees for PRSI, pay the correct contributions, maintain accurate records for all employees and to produce these records when requested by social welfare inspectors. Failure to do so can result in penalties, prosecution or both.
The role of social welfare inspectors of the Department of Social Protection is to ensure that employers are fulfilling their obligations in relation to PRSI. They carry out inspections of premises, examining employment records of employees and interviewing employers. An inspection may be routine or it may be carried out in relation to a particular case where investigation is needed.
If you are self-employed you are responsible for paying your social insurance contributions. As you are not employed the person for whom you are working is not your employer and is therefore not responsible for paying your social insurance contributions. The Code of Practice in determining Employment Status (pdf) contains criteria which can be used to clarify whether a person is employed or self-employed. The Scope Section of the Department of Social Protection makes the decision if it is not clear as to whether you are employed or self-employed.
You have a legal right to see the record of your PRSI contributions which is kept by your employer. You also can ask your employer to give you a statement of your PRSI contributions once every 3 months. (Normally this is written as a deduction on your payslip.)
If you are not given a P45 when you leave your job you should first ask your employer for it. If the employer does not supply it you should contact your local tax office. Revenue will contact the employer and obtain your P45 for you. If you have started a new job, Revenue will send you a new tax credit certificate so you will not have to pay emergency tax in your new job.
If you have not been given your P45 and you think that your PRSI contributions have not been paid you should inform your local social welfare inspector by contacting your local social welfare office or the Scope section of the Department of Social Protection. If your employer does not give you a P60 at the end of each year you should contact your local tax office.
Contact your local tax office.
Department of Social Protection
212-213 Pearse Street
Tel:(01) 673 2585
Department of Social Protection
Tel:(01) 471 5898
Locall:1890 690 690
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.