Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Questions (940)

Willie O'Dea


940. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the increases provided to those who have to date had their entitlement to a contributory pension reviewed; the number to date that have received an increase by values (details supplied) in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24186/19]

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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.

Regardless of when a review is conducted, where an increase in payment is due, the person's rate of payment is adjusted without delay and arrears paid, backdated to 30 March 2018 or the person's 66th birthday if later. Where a person's rate does not increase following review, the person will continue to receive their existing rate of payment.

The detailed breakdown requested by the Deputy is not readily available, however, it should be noted that approximately 67% of cases, where increases were awarded, achieved the maximum personal rate State pension contributory. Based on an analysis of sample of cases where an increase was awarded, the best estimate at this stage is that 16% of those who received an increase received a weekly increase of over €30; 36% received an increase of between €20 - €30; 4% received an increase of between €15 and €20; 4% received an increase of between €10 and €15; 4% received an increase of between €5 and €10; 36% received an increase up to €5. Importantly, most of those who received less than €5.00 following their review achieved maximum personal contributory pension rate, which cannot be further improved upon.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.