Written Answers. - Old Age Contributory Pension.

12.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the number of persons who have been denied an old age contributory pension because the bulk of their contributions predated 1953; and the steps which are being taken to rectify this situation.

One of the conditions for entitlement to old age contributory pension is that a person must have a yearly average of at least 20 contributions since 5 January 1953 when the unified system of social insurance came into effect or since he entered into insurance, if later. It is not possible to say how many persons who failed to qualify for pension would have qualified if contributions prior to 1953 were taken into account. It is relevant to point out that prior to 1953 three different contributions were payable. These were — national health insurance, widow's and orphan's pensions and unemployment insurance contributions. These contributions gave specific entitlement only to the benefits of the schemes under which they were paid.