Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Questions (1107, 1108)

David Stanton

Question:

1193 Mr. Stanton asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if he has satisfied himself that the methods used to calculate payment under the pre-1953 pensions are in compliance with all EU regulations governing social security; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3091/07]

View answer

David Stanton

Question:

1194 Mr. Stanton asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if he has satisfied himself that all aspects of the pre-1953 pension satisfy the terms agreed under bilateral social security agreements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3092/07]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Family)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1193 and 1194 together.

Where a person has social insurance contributions from another EEA country, or a country with which Ireland has a bilateral agreement, these can also be used to qualify a person for a payment. The manner in which contributions from EEA countries are to be used is laid down in Regulation (EEC) No 1408/ 71 and the same general principles are applied in the reciprocal agreements Ireland has with a number of other countries. These Regulations provide that where the conditions required by the legislation of a country for entitlement to old age benefits are satisfied only after counting the contributions made in another country, the first country shall calculate the amount of pension the person would be entitled to if s/he had completed his/her full career of periods of insurance under the legislation of that country. Then the proportional pension is calculated by multiplying the theoretical amount of pension by the ratio of periods of insurance in that State to the person's full career. The pre-53 pension is a special measure designed to provide a pension to people who would not otherwise qualify for any payment. A number of such pensions are being paid in accordance with the arrangements outlined above and I am satisfied that such payments are calculated in accordance with the relevant EU regulations and the reciprocal agreements entered into by Ireland with other States.