In Ireland, mandatory employer-sponsored employee benefits are limited to a personal retirement savings account, but there are a number of state-funded benefits that cover medical, pension, employers’ compensation, and a variety of leaves, including maternity leave. Life insurance (death-in-service programmes), income protection, medical insurance, dental insurance, and a variety of pension schemes are all common additional employee benefits in Ireland. Subsidized food, extra paid time off, commuter benefits, gym memberships, and bike-to-work programmes are just a few of the perks.
Employee benefits in Ireland
Currently, all businesses in Ireland are required to provide any excluded employees with access to a Personal Retirement Savings Account (PRSA) Facility. Employees who are not given membership in an occupational pension system within six months after beginning service or employment are considered excluded. The employer is not required to contribute to the PRSA at this time, but they must assist in the establishment of a PRSA for any employees who choose to contribute to their own retirement plan and receive tax relief at source through their payroll.
Group Life Assurance / Death-in-Service Schemes
Supplementary employee benefits in Ireland Many companies would always provide benefit because it is among the most cost-effective, the premiums have no tax implications for the employee, and it is of significant value as a protective measure should an employee pass away, leaving their financial dependents in debt or with a significant loss of household income. The amount will vary by industry, but 4 times base wage is considered an acceptable level of benefit. These trusts are set up so that the benefit can be paid out swiftly and without going through probate.
Group Income Protection
Although less prevalent than Group Life Assurance, owing to greater premium costs, this benefit is particularly valuable in terms of providing a replacement income for employees who are long-term sick or incapacitated and unable to continue working. Insurers and carriers will cover up to 75% of your wages (inclusive of the state disability benefit). Employees serve a deferred term before receiving claims payments; this is typically 26 weeks, but it can be extended to a year or cut to 13 weeks, lowering or raising premium costs. Regular employer and employee pension contributions, as well as the cost of Group Life Assurance premiums for the absent employee, can all be protected.
Occupational Pensions / Company Pensions / Executive Pensions
For employers who do contribute to a pension for their employees, there are a variety of frameworks, the choice of which can be influenced by a variety of factors such as the firm’s own framework, the number of employees and projected headcount growth, remuneration and selection processes, parent company practises in other jurisdictions, and indy company practises. For firms who do offer a pension with an employer contribution, the average level is 6%, with a regular employee contribution of 5% across all industries. It is also feasible for employees to make additional voluntary contributions.
Benefits for employees
Subsidized Food / Social Committees and Events
This can range from vending machines to juice and smoothie bars, baristas and coffee docks, onsite restaurants / canteen facilities, and alcoholic drinks at weekends or special events. Sponsored occasions , as well as charity events, are extremely popular.
The possibility to barter other perks for additional paid-leave days and other flexible work arrangements is still popular.
Commuter Benefits That Save You Money
The company pre-pays for a monthly or annual bus, tram, or train ticket, and the employee reimburses the cost from their pre-tax wage, saving up to 52% over the regular fare. The plan can be run in-house via payroll or outsourced to a third-party benefits provider.
Subsidized Gym Membership / Fitness Supports / Sports Committees
Large firms may have onsite gym facilities; if not, they may collaborate with a local gym or offer subsidized fitness points, through third-party benefit providers. Weekly yoga/palates courses may be offered, as well as the formation of regular cycling, jogging, walking events (step challenges), tag rugby, soccer, and GAA (Hurling, Football) teams on site.
The Workplace Cycling Program
The company pre-purchases bicycles and related safety equipment up to the value of €1,000, and the employee reimburses the cost from their pre-tax earnings, saving up to 52% of the typical cost. The system can be run in-house using payroll or outsourced to a third-party vendor. Has proven to be a big hit.
The State Pension
Applicants must be 66 years old (67 years old from 2021 and 68 years old from 2028), have started paying social insurance before the age of 56, and have made the required number of social insurance contributions over their working lives, among other requirements.
Maternity benefit is a payout made to working and self-employed women who meet specified PRSI (Pay Related Social Insurance) contribution requirements on their personal insurance records. Moms’ benefits are usually paid for a period of 26 weeks or a specific number of days off. Employers are not compelled to provide additional benefits, though many do.