Guide to Pay-Related Social Insurance - SW106

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  • Employees in the private sector and certain public servants (Classes A, E and J)
  • Certain public servants (Classes B, C, D and H)
  • Self-employed people, this includes company shareholders controlling over 50% of shares. (Class S) . Class S and P applies to certain self-employed share-fishermen.
  • People who pay no PRSI (Class M)
  • Certain Public Office Holders (Class K).

The following is a brief description of the people covered by each of the main PRSI contribution classes.

Class A

Employees in industrial, commercial and service-type employment with gross earnings of €38 or more a week from all work; civil and public servants recruited from 6 April 1995 and Community Employment workers from 6 April 1996.

Class B

Permanent and pensionable civil servants, registered doctors and dentists employed in the civil service and Gardaí, recruited before 6 April 1995.

Class C

Commissioned Army Officers and members of the Army Nursing Service recruited before 6 April 1995.

Class D

Permanent and pensionable employees in the public service, other than those mentioned in Classes B and C, recruited before 6 April 1995.

Class E

Ministers of religion employed by the Church of Ireland Representative Body.

Class H

Non-Commissioned Officers and enlisted personnel of the Defence Forces.

Class J

- Employees in industrial, commercial and service-type employment with gross earnings of less than €38 a week from all work,

- People insured for Occupational Injuries Benefits only, for example employees over pensionable age

- People taking part in certain Solas training schemes insurable for Occupational Injuries Benefits only

- People whose employment is of a subsidiary nature or of inconsiderable extent e.g. people insurable at Class B, C, D or H in their main employment and who have a second job.

- Attendants at Department of Education and Skills examinations.

- Presiding officers and poll clerks at elections and R.D.F members on Annual training.

Class K

  • Certain public office holders (the President, the holder of a 'qualifying office', members of the Oireachtas, the judiciary, certain military judges, the Attorney General, the Comptroller and Auditor General, members of a local authority and certain members of the European Parliament), who earn over €5,200 a year. These Public Office holders pay PRSI at a rate of 4% on all income.
  • Any of these specified public office holders who earn €5,200 a year or less (€100 a week or less) have a nil liability – see Class M.
  • From 1st January 2013, Class K also applies to the additional earned self-employed income from a trade or profession of a modified rate contributor and on any unearned income they have
  • From 1 January 2014, employed contributors and occupational pensioners aged under 66 years whose only additional income is unearned may be liable for PRSI contributions on this income.

Class M

people with no contribution liability such as:

  • employees under age 16
  • people aged over pensionable age (including those previously liable for Class S)
  • persons in receipt of occupational pensions or lump-sum termination payments
  • people with Class K with a nil liability (public office holders with a weekly income of less than €100 a week).

Class P

Self-employed people whose main income comes from share fishing,

Class S

Self-employed people such as farmers, certain company directors, sole traders and certain people with income from investments, rents and maintenance, where the income is €5,000 or more a year from all sources.


People who are not covered by compulsory PRSI may opt to become Voluntary Contributors if they satisfy certain conditions.

For further information about Voluntary PRSI, please log on to or contact:

Voluntary Contributions Section
Social Welfare Services Office
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

LoCall 1890 690 690 (from the Republic of Ireland only)
Telephone + 353 1 4715898 (from Northern Ireland or overseas)

A summary of the main benefits and pensions provided for each class of contribution is shown in the table in Part 8 .

Last modified:31/01/2017

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