Paying social insurance (PRSI)
Most employed people over 16 years of age make social insurance contributions. The amount you pay is based on your earnings and the type of work you do. For this reason it is called Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI).
The law makes your employer responsible for PRSI, though you may have to pay an employee's share. The amount of PRSI paid by you and your employer depends on your social insurance class. Your social insurance class is in turn determined by your earnings and the type of work you do. You can find more information in our document on social insurance classes.
Your employer deducts your PRSI contribution directly from your wages. It is then collected by Revenue and a record of your contributions is kept by both your employer and the Department of Social Protection. Under the Payment of Wages Act 1991, you must be given a pay slip when you are paid. The PRSI contribution deducted should be noted on your pay slip.
Your employer also pays PRSI contributions for you. This contribution is not deducted from your pay. It is your employer's contribution to the Social Insurance Fund. Again, this is collected by Revenue and a record of the contribution is kept by the Department of Social Protection. The Department publishes information for employers - Employers' guide to the Pay-Related Social Insurance (PRSI) contribution system - SW 3
Your employer needs your Personal Public Service Number to make PRSI contributions for you. If your employer does not make the correct PRSI contribution, your employer will be held responsible for the cost of the entire contribution and any arrears that may be due. Failure to meet this responsibility can mean that PRSI which has not been paid can be recovered in court as a debt to the State.
If your employer does not make PRSI contributions on your behalf they may be required to repay to the Department certain social welfare payments you may have received illegally while working for them (these benefits include Illness Benefit, Jobseeker's Benefit, Jobseeker's Allowance, Pre Retirement Allowance, Invalidity Pension, and Family Income Supplement). Your employer may also be liable for any benefit you have lost as a result of them not paying PRSI contributions on your behalf or for repayment of social welfare assistance paid to you in lieu of lost benefit.
Every year, inspectors from the Department of Social Protection visit many employers. The purpose of these inspections is to find employers that:
- Do not pay any PRSI contributions for their employees
- Do not keep proper records for them
- Encourage employees to claim jobseeker payments
- Understate wages being paid to employees
The Department's inspectors have power to inspect records and there are penalties for people who obstruct or refuse to supply information, or fail to keep or produce records and documents.
Employees posted abroad
In some cases, PRSI contributions from employees who are insurable under Irish social security legislation but do not come within the PAYE system are collected by the Special Collection System operated by the Department of Social Protection.
EU Regulations and bilateral social security agreements allow posted workers, who are sent by their employer on short work assignments from Ireland to the other country, to remain subject to Irish PRSI instead of transferring to the social security system of the other country. For example, if you are employed in Ireland and your employer sends you to work temporarily abroad in another EU state you will remain subject to the Irish PRSI system and will continue to pay PRSI for 24 months. Your employer must complete an A1 form (formerly E101) certificate (available from the PRSI Special Collection Unit) for inspection by the social security authorities in the member state where you are sent to work. More information is available on the Special Collection System (SW 63).
If an employer sends you to work temporarily in a country not covered by EU Regulations or to a country with which Ireland does not have a Bilateral Social Security Agreement, you remain liable for Irish PRSI contributions for up to 12 months. If the employment exceeds 12 months, it may be possible to remain liable for Irish PRSI for longer than 12 months. Employees working abroad who are not subject to the Irish PRSI system may opt to pay voluntary contributions.
Workers posted to Ireland
A worker who is ordinarily resident in a country not covered by EU Regulations, or with which Ireland does not have a Bilateral Social Security Agreement and who is sent to work temporarily in Ireland by an employer who is not ordinarily registered in Ireland nor has their principal place of business in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Great Britain or the Isle of Man, may be exempt from paying Irish PRSI contributions for up to 12 months.
Paying PRSI contributions during illness
If your employer pays you when you are sick, you will continue to pay PRSI. Some employers will continue to pay you when you are out of work due to illness provided you hand over to your employer any Illness Benefit payment you get from the Department of Social Protection. In this case, your employer only pays a PRSI contribution on the amount of sick pay minus the amount of Illness Benefit.
If your employer pays you when you are ill and allows you to keep your Illness Benefit payment, your employer's PRSI contribution is paid on the full amount of the sick pay, ignoring the Illness Benefit payment. If your employer does not pay you when you are absent from work through illness, no PRSI contributions are due.
The amount of PRSI you and your employer pay will depend on your earnings and the social insurance class you are insured under.
Class A employees
If you are earning €352 or less per week (before tax is deducted), you will not pay any social insurance. This does not mean that you are not getting a contribution. You are still covered by Class A social insurance. Your employer is paying social insurance on your behalf.
If you earn over €352 per week, you pay 4% PRSI on all your earnings. A new PRSI credit was introduced in 2016 which reduces the amount of PRSI payable for people earning between €352.01 and €424 per week. The credit is tapered and the amount of the credit depends on your earnings. The maximum credit is €12. For example, if you earn €352.01 per week, you will get the maximum PRSI credit of €12. On these earnings of €352.01, your PRSI charge (calculated at 4% of your earnings) would be €14.08. After the €12 credit is deducted, you will pay PRSI of €2.08.
If you earn between €352.01 and €424 per week, the maximum credit of €12 is reduced by one-sixth of the amount of your weekly earnings over €352.01.
You work out how much PRSI you will pay in four steps. First, calculate one-sixth of your earnings over €352.01. Then subtract this from the maximum credit of €12 to get your PRSI credit. Then calculate the basic PRSI charge at 4% of your earnings. Finally, deduct your PRSI credit from the PRSI charge. The result is the amount of PRSI you pay.
For example, for gross weekly earnings of €377:
- One-sixth of your earnings over €352.01 is €377- €352.01 = €24.99, divided by 6 = €4.17.
- Subtract this from the maximum credit of €12, giving you a credit of €7.83.
- The basic PRSI charge is 4% of €377 = €15.08.
- You will pay €7.25 PRSI weekly (€15.08 minus your €7.83 PRSI credit).
Employers pay 8.5% Class A employer PRSI on weekly earnings up to €376. Employers pay 10.75% Class A employer PRSI on weekly earnings over €376. This threshold increased from €356 to €376 on 1 January 2016.
More information can be found about the amount
of PRSI paid in each class.
How to apply
Your employer deducts your PRSI contribution from your wages. As an employee who pays PRSI contributions, you are entitled by law to inspect the PRSI record kept by your employer about you. You can also get a statement of your record from your employer every three months.
If you believe that your employer has not complied with social insurance regulations you can ask to fill in form IA49 at your local social welfare office or Intreo centre.
Form IA49 is a declaration stating that you believe your former employer did not comply with social insurance regulations. As a result of this declaration, there will be an investigation into your employer's payment of PRSI.
You can request a copy of your PRSI
record online at MyWelfare.ie. If you have difficulty using this online
facility, you can contact the PRSI Records customer service team for assistance
(see 'Where to apply').
Where to apply
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Tel:(01) 471 5898 (If calling from outside the Republic of Ireland please call +353 1 471 5898)
Locall:1890 690 690 (Note: the rates charged for using 1890 (Lo-call) numbers may vary)
Special Collection Section
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Social Welfare Services Office
Tel: (01) 471 5898 (If calling from outside the Republic of Ireland please call + 353 1 471 5898)
Locall: 1890 690 690 (Note: the rates charged for using 1890 (Lo-call) numbers may vary)