The National Pensions (Amendment) Law, 2016 was published in the Gazette in June 2016, however these legislative changes to the National Pensions Law did not come into effect until the date listed in the Commencement Order. In accordance with the National Pensions (Amendment) Law, 2016 (Commencement) Order, 2016, section 47 (10), which permits access to additional voluntary contributions ("AVC"), came into effect on the 31st March, 2017.
Section 47 (10) allows pension plan members to access their AVC, prior to reaching the normal age of pension entitlement, under four categories: medical purposes, temporary unemployment, housing purposes and educational purposes. If the member has AVCs that they have not accessed prior, the AVC can be paid as a lump sum when the member reaches the normal age of pension entitlement.
See Guidance Note for more information
The member should apply directly to their pension plan administrator and there is no need for the application to be submitted to the Department of Labour & Pensions unless the administrator needs to clarify if the request is permissible.
There is no requirement for a pension plan member to repay the AVCs that are withdrawn for any of the four categories.
A member is permitted access to their AVC up to 4x per calendar year, for the four categories permissible in the National Pension (Amendment) Law 2016.
The pension plan administrator will be required to file a report with the Department of Labour and Pensions by the 10th of each month.