Since late September 2018, my Department has been examining the social insurance records of approximately 90,000 pensioners, born on or after 1 September 1946, who have a reduced rate State pension contributory entitlement based on post Budget 2012 rate-bands. These payments are being reviewed under a new Total Contributions Approach (TCA) pension calculation which includes provision for HomeCaring periods.
An examination of the social insurance record of the person concerned shows some unexplained gaps. A request for information about time spent out of the workforce for parenting or caring reasons has been sent to the person concerned. Included in the letter are details of how to return the required information using the Department’s online services. This is the quickest and easiest way to provide the information required to complete the person's review. The letter also provides a dedicated helpline to support and assist the person making their online application, or to request a paper application if their difficulties using the online service cannot be resolved.
On receipt of the requested information, the person’s state pension (contributory) rate will be reviewed and they will be informed of the outcome in writing. If an increase is due, it will be backdated to 30 March 2018. If no increase is due following the review, the person will continue to receive their existing rate of payment.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.