It is a condition of the scheme of early retirement from farming that participants must apply, on reaching their 66th birthday, to the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs for both the contributory and non-contributory old age pension. If a pension is awarded it must be offset against the farm retirement pension. Participants in the scheme are told of this condition when they join, and they are required to notify my Department if they are awarded an old-age pension.
In the case of the person named, he reached age 66 on 16 July 1999 and became entitled to a non-contributory old age pension from that date. Accordingly, my Department was obliged to offset the amount of his old age pension against his early retirement pension.