Can I find a new job after I retire?

In principle, people over 65 can be employed or self-employed.

There are statutory age limits depending on the profession. For example, the Garda Síochána must retire at age 60. Even if you've reached the legal retirement age at your previous job, you can still be reemployed or self-employed after retirement.

If you took early retirement, you can still be reemployed or self-employed. Many people over the "normal" retirement age (65) continue to work past the retirement age.

Before deciding whether or not to work in retirement, you should know the possible impact on your pension, social security benefits, and tax obligations.

If you stopped working in the public sector and are considering returning to work, there may be implications for your pension.

Returning to the public sector

If you're a government employee with a pension, your pension may be reduced if you return to the public sector.

A reduction generally means a decrease in your pension. The purpose is to ensure that between your pension and your job income, you don't earn more than you would have if you had stayed in your previous job. The exact conditions for a reduction can vary from pension scheme to pension scheme.

Usually, you can no longer contribute to a public sector pension scheme once you reach the normal retirement age.

Choosing to work in the private sector

Choosing to work in the private sector

If you're under 66

If you're under 66 and employed or self-employed, you'll have to pay PRSI contributions as normal. For example, if you're a former civil servant and you go to work for a private company, you'll have to pay full PRSI contributions.

You only have to pay PRSI contributions on income from employment or self-employment, not on pensions from previous jobs.

Part-time or low-paid work

If you work part-time or in a low-paid job, you still have to pay PRSI contributions, but in some cases you don't have to. If you earn less than €352.38 per week, you don't have to pay PRSI - your employer does, and you're 100% covered.

PRSI relief reduces the burden of PRSI for people earning between €352.01 and €424 per week. There is a small deductible, the amount of which depends on your income.

If you're 66 or older

Whether you're employed or self-employed, you don't have to pay PRSI premiums if you're over 66.

If you haven't paid enough contributions by age 66, you can't increase your contributions later. Unlike some occupational pension schemes, you can't pay PRSI contributions retroactively.

If you're still working at age 66, your employer can pay a small amount of PRSI contributions to cover the cost of your injury. This is called Class J National Insurance.

Income tax

Almost all income is subject to income tax, and people over 65 are subject to the same general tax system as everyone else, but they can benefit from certain tax-free thresholds.

You can find out more about the special tax treatment for people over 65, including the taxation of occupational pensions and social security benefits, here.

Wrongful termination

Age-related dismissal constitutes unfair dismissal under the Unfair Dismissal Act (with some exceptions). However, you cannot claim unfair dismissal if you leave after your contractual retirement age.


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