Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Questions (158)

Bernard Durkan


158. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the basis on which earned homecare credits appear to have been reduced within the calculation for a State pension resulting in a lower rate of payment in the case of a person (details supplied); if a review will be carried out in this instance with a view to awarding full rate of pension; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22989/19]

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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.

Under the new measures, a maximum of 1,040 (equal to 20 years) HomeCaring periods can be included in the pension calculation for time spent out of the workforce for parenting and caring reasons.

The person concerned was awarded 1,145 HomeCaring periods based on information already held by my Department. The person has 887 reckonable paid contributions which when combined with the maximum permissible number of HomeCaring periods and reckonable credits of 1,040, as set out in legislation, results in a usable total of 1,927. When this number is divided by 2,080 (equivalent to 40 years), this results in an increase in rate from 90% to 92.64% of maximum state pension (contributory).

A review outcome letter has issued to the person, outlining details of their increase in rate and includes a breakdown of their social insurance contribution record and the maximum HomeCaring periods which can be used in the pension re-calculation.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.