Glossary: P

This section explains terms you might have seen in other parts of this site or in communication you have received from creditors.

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Definition: P45

A document that an employee receives when they leave a job, which shows their total pay up to the date they leave, as well as the total tax and PRSI that their employer has deducted.

Definition: P60

A document that an employee receives at the end of every year which shows their total pay for that year, and the total tax and PRSI that their employer has deducted. This is used to apply for certain social welfare payments, mortgages or anywhere proof of income is required.

Definition: Pawnbroker

A person or company involved in buying second-hand goods for cash. Pawnbrokers are regulated by the Pawnbrokers Act, 1964, as amended by the Consumer Credit Act 1995. The National Consumer Agency is responsible for enforcing the Pawnbrokers Act.

Definition: Pay as you Earn

Taxes taken directly from your wages by your employer, who then pays them to Revenue Commissioners. See also Income Tax.

Definition: Payee

The person who receives a payment.

Payment Countermanded
Definition: Payment Countermanded

A statement written on a cheque before a bank returns it, when the cheque drawer asks their bank not to pay the cheque.

Payment Protection Plan (Policy)
Definition: Payment Protection Plan (Policy)

A plan that makes loan repayments if a person’s income drops because of unemployment or illness. See also Insurance.

Payment Received
Definition: Payment Received

A sum of money that a credit card company or lending agency has received, which is shown on a person’s statement.

Peace Commissioner
Peace Commissioner

Commissioner These are officials who can verify statements. A Commissioner for Oaths can charge a standard fee per signature for verifying statements. If there is an exhibit, for example, a marriage certificate, attached to the document that needs to be signed, there is a further charge. Peace Commissioners are honorary appointments and there are no fees or expenses for their services.

Definition: Penalty

A punishment for not obeying a law or rule or for not obeying the terms of a contract; this may involve extra charges or interest.

Penalty-free Transfer
An option that lets you transfer savings (such as a pension) to a different plan, scheme or provider without having to pay any charges.

Definition: Pension

An income a person receives from the State or private company (or both) after they retire. If a person has their own private pension, they cannot use any of their pension fund until they reach a minimum age (usually 50).

Occupational Pension
A pension from a scheme set up by an employer (for example, a local authority pension or a teacher’s pension). Employees have to join the scheme to be eligible and may have to make contributions towards the pension.

The scheme may pay a fraction of the final salary as a pension (calculated based on the number of years worked) or build up a cash fund which is used to buy an annuity. An annuity is a special type of investment which can pay out a regular sum over the lifetime of the owner.

Pensionable Age
The age a person must reach before they can claim their state pension.

Pension Benefits
Payments and lump sums that a person receives from their private pension.

Pension Calculation Table
A table that shows the level of pension a person can expect when they retire.

Pension Contribution
A regular payment into a pension scheme (usually every month or every three months).

Pension Deduction
An amount that an employer takes directly from an employee’s pay and uses to pay into a pension plan for the employee, shown on the employee’s pay slip.

Pension Fund
A fund to pay employees’ pensions.

Pension Mortgage
A mortgage that will be repaid out of a pension’s lump sum.

Pension Provider
A company that provides pensions.

Personal Pension (also known as a Retirement Annuity Contract (RAC))
A pension plan that is not tied to a particular place of employment and that you may keep active even if you change your job. You can set these up yourself with a pension provider or they can be arranged through your workplace. Some personal pensions are stakeholder schemes. For more information, see the Pensions Board’s section on Personal Pensions or Citizens Information’s section on Personal Pensions.

Stakeholder Pension
A type of pension scheme with low charges and flexible payments.

State Retirement Pension
A pension you receive from the State when you retire. The amount you get depends on your social insurance record (or that of your marriage / civil partner).

Per Annum
Definition: Per Annum

Means "each year"

Personal Allowance
Definition: Personal Allowance

The amount of income on which you do not pay tax. This depends on your age and whether you are married or have children. For more information, see the Revenue Commissioners’ information on Personal Allowances.

Personal Budgeting
Definition: Personal Budgeting

A detailed list of your income and planned spending. When dealing with debt, this is the first stage towards preparing a financial statement (a summarised version of your budget used to present to your creditors or for court). For more information on preparing a personal budget, see MABS’s section on Budgeting

Personal Guarantee
Definition: Personal Guarantee

A guarantee given by a person in relation to a loan. These are usually requested by banks from company directors to secure the company’s loans. See also Limited Liability.

Personal Identification Number (PIN)
Definition: Personal Identification Number (PIN)

A secret four-digit number that a person uses to get money with an ATM card (from an ATM machine), or to buy goods and services using the “chip and pin” system.

Personal Insolvency Arrangement
Definition: Personal Insolvency Arrangement

Granted in respect of secured and unsecured debts. There is no limit on the amount of unsecured debt owed however the secured debt is capped at €3,000,000. However, this cap can be extended if all creditors agree to same. This arrangement can only be applied for through a Personal Insolvency Practitioner.

Personal Insolvency Practitioner (PIP)
Definition: Personal Insolvency Practitioner (PIP)

A professional adviser who is licensed and regulated by the Insolvency Service of Ireland to apply for and administer a Debt Settlement Arrangement or a Personal Insolvency Arrangement on behalf of debtors. A Personal Insolvency Practitioner charges a fee for this service. Contact details for Personal Insolvency Practitioners in your area can be found at

Personal Loan
Definition: Personal Loan

An unsecured loan taken out by a person.

Pet Insurance
Definition: Pet Insurance

An insurance policy that covers the costs of vet's bills.

Plastic cards
Definition: Plastic cards

These include credit cards, debit cards and store cards.

Definition: Policy

A savings or insurance plan for which a person usually receives a written document.

Post-dated cheque
Definition: Post-dated cheque

A cheque on which a future date is written; the cheque can only be cashed on or after that date.

PPS Number (Personal Public Service Number, formerly “RSI Number”)
Definition: PPS Number (Personal Public Service Number, formerly “RSI Number”)

A unique reference number for each person in the State that identifies a person for all matters related to tax, social insurance and social welfare benefits.

Definition: Premium

Like a payment, an amount that a person must pay regularly for a pension or insurance.

Priority Debt
Definition: Priority Debt

A debt that is more important than others, such as a mortgage or an overdue electricity bill. Because of the type of contract you have with them certain creditors can take serious actions if the debt is not paid on time (for example, taking over the property or cutting off the service).

Definition: Pro-rata

A method which MABS uses to fairly calculate payments to non-priority creditors to ensure that they receive an equitable or fair distribution of the money available to repay a number of non-priority debts.

Definition: Probate

A legal process that involves managing and distributing the estate of someone who has died, according to instructions left in a will. For more information, see the Courts Service’s advice on making probate applications in person.

Profit and Loss Account
Definition: Profit and Loss Account

Profit and Loss Account
An account that shows the money a business has earned from selling goods and services after it has paid its own expenses.

Profit and Loss Statement

A statement of how much money a business makes – and how much it might lose – over a fixed period of time.

Promissory Note
Definition: Promissory Note

A written promise to pay an amount of money to someone at a given time or on demand.

Definition: Prospectus

A document from a company that wishes to sell shares to the public (a public or publicly-traded company) giving details of the company’s past performance and its plans for the future. This term is also used to refer to investment-advertising publications in general.

Protective Certificate (PC)
Definition: Protective Certificate

The first step in the granting of a Debt Settlement Arrangement or a Personal Insolvency Arrangement. It lasts for an initial 70 days but can be extended by a further 40.

PRSA (Personal Retirement Savings Account)
Definition:  PRSA (Personal Retirement Savings Account)

A savings account that a person pays into to build up their pension. If an employer does not offer an occupational pension, they must allow their employees set up their own PRSA. A list of PRSA providers is available on the Pensions Board website.

Public Liability
Definition: Public Liability

A type of insurance that protects people and businesses against civil claims made against them by members of the public.

Purchasing Power
Definition: Purchasing Power

The ability of a person’s money to buy goods and services, which is affected by the cost of those goods and services and by inflation.