Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Questions (444)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

444. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of the pension review in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22341/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

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) to pension calculation which includes provision for homecaring periods.

The person concerned was awarded a reduced rate state pension (contributory) in 2016. Following award to their spouse of a higher rate increase for qualified adult on their spouse's pension, the state pension (contributory) of the person concerned was withdrawn, in favour of the higher payment.

The person concerned has 788 reckonable paid contributions, which combined with the maximum permissible number of HomeCaring periods and reckonable credits (1,040, as set out in legislation) results in a payment rate of 87.9% of the maximum rate of pension. The person is already in receipt of equivalent to 89.6% of the maximum rate of pension, (or €222.50 per week), so is better off to remain as a qualified adult on their spouse's pension.

A review outcome letter has issued to the person concerned, which includes a copy of their social insurance contribution record.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.