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Pensions in Northern Ireland

Broadly speaking most people’s pensions come from one or more of the following, a company pension plan, a personal pension plan and / or the State pension.

Northern Ireland Pension Centre

For Pension Credit:

Enquiry line – 0845 601 8821

Application Line – 0808 100 6165 (freephone)

NI DirectNorthern Ireland Pension Centre – Pension Credit contact information

There are a number of independent organisations that can provide you with advice and guidance when it comes to choosing and managing your pension.

The Pensions Advisory Service

The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS), is an independent non-profit organisation that provides free information, advice and guidance on the whole spectrum of pensions, including state, company, personal and stakeholder schemes

Company (Occupational) pensions are provided by most employers. There are different types of arrangements available, with each working in a different way.

Personal or Stakeholder pensions are available from banks, building societies and life insurance companies, who invest your savings on your behalf. There’s no limit on the number of personal pension schemes you can set up and you can save as much as you like into a personal pension. Each year you’ll be able to get tax relief on your pension contributions.

The State pension is administered and paid by the Pension Service, part of the Department for Work and Pensions. It is based on the number of qualifying years gained through National Insurance contributions (NICs) you’ve paid, are treated as having paid or have been credited with throughout your working life.  You may also be entitled to an Additional State Pension.

If you are in receipt of a State pension and decide to move to another EU country e.g. ROI, you will still be eligible for the State pension. If you wish it can be paid directly into your Irish bank account. For further information please contact the International Pension Centre

Frontier Workers

If you have worked in Northern Ireland and one or more EU state e.g. ROI,  your social insurance contributions from each EU state will be added to your National Insurance contributions to help you qualify for the State Pension  For more information you may contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre contact information: Tel: 0845 601 8821. If you are resident in ROI you should contact the International Pension Centre Tel: 0044 191 218 7777

Southern Resident

A Southern resident working in Northern Ireland is eligible to apply for the UK pension when they reach the UK pensionable age – UK State Pension Age Calculator  They should make their application for the UK pension via the Department of Social Protection, Pension Section based in Sligo – tel:  00353 (0)71 915-7100 or Lo-call: 1890-500-000

When they reach Irish retirement age they can then apply via Sligo for their Irish pension. The Pensions Section will contact the UK for a record of Social Insurance Contributions paid in Northern Ireland.  This information will then be used to assess the pension application and a pro-rata pension may be awarded.

Northern Resident

A Northern Resident working in the South is eligible to apply for an Irish Pension with they reach the Irish pensionable age.  They can make their application via the Department of Social Protection, Pension Section based in Sligo   Phone: (071) 915-7100 or Lo-call: 1890-500-000 or they can contact the UK International Overseas Pensions Centre  which can make the application on their behalf – Telephone 0191 218 7777

When they reach the UK age of retirement (UK State Pension Age Calculator ) they can contact the UK International Overseas Pensions Centre (Telephone: 0191 218 7777) to make an application for a UK pension. To be eligible they should have paid at least one year’s National Insurance contributions in Northern Ireland or the UK.  The Pensions Centre will contact the Southern Authorities for a record of Social Insurance Contributions paid and a pro-rata pension may then be awarded

Please also check the following Border People webpages for further information on cross border pensions

For further information please contact:

The Department for Social Development  – Social Security Agency section
The Pension Service,
PO Box 1121,
Belfast, BT1 9GA.
Telephone: For new claims: 0808 100 2658, For enquiries: 0845 601 8821

See also

Page last checked: February 2016

This webpage is for general information purposes only and while we endeavour to keep it up-to-date, errors may occur.  It is very important that you check with the relevant body to ensure the information is current and is applicable to your situation: – North /  South

If you would like to suggest amendments or highlight new information that could be useful to others please don’t hesitate to get in touch.