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.
Reviews commenced from 13 February 2019, the day after I signed the necessary Regulations which, together with provisions in the Social Welfare, Pensions and Civil Registrations Act 2018, allows the increased payments to be made.
The person concerned applied for State pension (contributory) in January 2018 and was assessed as having 432 paid social insurance contribution. As their contributions fall short of the required 520 paid contributions, the claim was disallowed and the person was notified of this decision at that time.
The person concerned is currently the beneficiary of the maximum rate of Increase for qualified adult payment on their spouse’s pension, which is currently equivalent to 90% of the maximum rate of pension. In addition, the option remains for the person concerned to apply for state pension (non-contributory). This is a means-tested payment, based on the person's share of household means, where the maximum rate payable equates to 95% of the maximum rate of state pension (contributory).
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.