Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Questions (470)

Kevin O'Keeffe


470. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason a person (details supplied) who is in receipt of a payment, receives this payment in their State pension (contributory) in view of the fact they were advised that this payment would be paid separately from their pension; and if the person has received homecaring credits for caring for their children. [22648/19]

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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 has 751 reckonable paid contributions which combined with the maximum permissible number of HomeCaring periods and reckonable credits of 1,040, as set out in legislation, results in an increase from 85% to 86.11% of maximum rate State pension contributory. A review outcome letter has issued to the person, outlining details of their increase of State pension contributory and includes a breakdown of their social insurance contribution record.

Under the terms of the restorative justice payment, a claimant aged over 66 years is entitled to a maximum payment of €248.30 per week (which is equivalent to maximum rate state pension (contributory)). The rate of restorative justice payment is the difference between the person's personal rate of social welfare entitlement and the maximum rate of state pension (contribution). The person concerned was previously in receipt of a state pension contributory payment at the weekly rate of €211.40 and their applicable rate under the restorative justice scheme was €36.90 per week. As the person's state pension contributory rate has increased to €213.90, the applicable weekly rate payable under the restorative justice scheme is now €34.40.

The provision of a weekly income of €248.30 per week under the scheme, for a person over state pension age, is intended to put the person in a position that they would have occupied had they acquired sufficient contributions to qualify for the maximum rate of state pension contributory. Any person who is already in receipt of another state benefit, such as state pension contributory, does not receive the restorative justice payment in addition to their social welfare entitlement, but as a top up payment to bring the person's rate of payment up to the current maximum rate of state pension (contributory).

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.