Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Questions (170)

Arthur Spring

Question:

170. Deputy Arthur Spring asked the Minister for Social Protection if a person who paid class S stamps while self-employed is entitled to pay PRSI contributions on unearned income derived from letting of farm land, having retired on the early retirement scheme; the benefits the PRSI payments will provide to the person; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [33702/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

A farmer who retired on the early retirement scheme and has reckonable income (including income from the letting of the farm land) over €5,000 is liable for Class S PRSI contributions on that income, provided the person is under pensionable age (currently 66) and no tax exemptions apply to the rental income from the farm. Where tax exemptions apply to the rental income from the farm then the income threshold at which Class S PRSI contributions are due may be higher. The Office of the Revenue Commissioners applies tax exemptions where exemptions are due.

The benefits of Class S PRSI payments are Maternity Benefit, Adoptive Benefit, Bereavement Grant and long-term benefits such as State Pension (Contributory) and Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s Pension (Contributory). Compulsory PRSI deductions are not made from payments under the Early Retirement Scheme. A farmer who retired on the early retirement scheme and is not liable for Class S PRSI contributions on unearned income could, subject to certain conditions, opt to pay voluntary contributions up to age 66, in order to qualify for the State Pension (Contributory).