Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (359)

Bernard J. Durkan


371 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. [35373/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Social Protection)

The application for State pension (contributory) has been reviewed. The person concerned does not satisfy the qualifying conditions for State pension (contributory) which applied on the date that the person concerned reached pension age (66):

have entered insurable employment before attaining the age of 56 years.

have at least 156 paid contribution weeks since entry into insurance, from employment or self-employment.

have a yearly average of at least 48 paid and/or credited full-rate contributions from 1979 to the end of the tax year preceeding her 66th birthday, or

have a yearly average of at least 10 paid-credited contributions from the date of her entry into insurable employment, to the end of the tax year preceding her 66th birthday (to qualify for the maximum rate, a yearly average of 48 is required).

The person concerned, according to the records of the Department, has a yearly average of 4 contributions from 1952 to 1996. She does not therefore satisfy the qualifying conditions for State pension (contributory) as outlined, and her claim was disallowed on this basis. Section 110(1)(a) of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 stipulates that in order to be eligible for a State pension (contributory), at least one year's self-employment contributions must be paid prior to the person reaching pension age. The person concerned had applied to this Department, in 2010, for recognition of a commercial partnership with her husband and recognition of the partnership has been granted. All outstanding PRSI was paid by the person concerned in November 2010 which was after her 66th birthday. In this case, as all of the self-employment contributions due were paid after the person concerned reached the age of 66 years, and insufficient class S PRSI had been paid by her husband to cover both of their liabilities for at least one single tax year prior to her 66th birthday, the person concerned does not satisfy the first eligibility condition as outlined above.