Break in Service - Teacher Advice


Registered User
My wife has been employed as a teacher from 2007-2019 in various schools. Thankfully now she has a CID full time contract. Between 2007-13 she had various types of contracts and substitution cover type contracts due to the economic downturn. In 2013 she had a break in service of 29 weeks and 2 days due to a pregnancy related illness and a maternity leave from Feb-Sept. If such a break occurs, such teachers returning to teaching join the pension scheme that is prevailing at the time, which from the 1st January 2013 means the Single Public Service Pension Scheme, with its severely reduced benefits. She has made some inquiries but is drawing blank. She does not have any memory or cant find any evidence of a circular from the department or ETB that explained the changes at the time. She also feels aggrieved due to her only break in service was due to a certified health issue and a normal maternity leave contract. If she worked one day during that time period she would be on the pension prior to 2013. My question is this worth pursuing or appealing or are we wasting our time? Has anyone any knowledge of any cases similar in the public service ? Thanks in advance Colm


Frequent Poster
Pretty sure maternity leave does not count as a break in service, at least if she a full time contract at the time, contact her trade union to clarify. Was she paid her normal wages during the maternity leave or was it just the state maternity pay? If the latter then you may be out of luck unfortunately.


Frequent Poster
I would fight it- get union help. It could be a long road but it will be worth the fight. If she is not in a union join one now.
The new scheme is terrible and career averaging will lead to inferior pensions. Yet contributing circa 15% of salary is not insignificant.