Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (358)

Bernard J. Durkan


370 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will review an application for contributory old age pension in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35372/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Social Protection)

In order to qualify for a State pension (contributory), a claimant must have entered insurable employment before attaining the age of 56 years, have a minimum number of (full-rate) paid PRSI contributions, and satisfy a yearly-average contributions test. The person concerned was aged 66 years on 1st October 1994. An application for State pension (contributory) was received from her on 14th January 2002. Her claim was disallowed on the grounds that she did not commence paying PRSI prior to reaching age 56.

The person concerned has a total of 156 paid contributions only, in respect of a consecutive three year self-employment period up to 1994. Her entitlement to a special half-rate self-employed State pension (contributory) was also examined in a subsequent review of her pension claim. This pension was introduced in April 1999 for self-employed people who were already aged over 56 years in 1988, when the standard rate self-employment State pension (contributory) was introduced, and who have at least 260 full-rate contributions paid since starting to pay S-class contributions. However she does not qualify for this pension as she has only a total of 156 paid contributions.

The person concerned has been advised, in 2010, of the procedure for having the status of a commercial partnership recognised, should she wish to pursue this.