Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Questions (813)

Mary Butler

Question:

813. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of pensioners contacted to date in relation to pension changes applied in 2012; the number that received arrears; the number that have seen their pensions increase; the number that have seen no increase in their payments; when she expects all pensioners will have been contacted; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29865/19]

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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 home-caring 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.  As at 4 July 2019, 77,193 reviews have been completed.  Of these, 32,307 pensioners received an increase in their rate of payment and 44,886 are remaining on their existing rate of payment.

Where an increase is due, the person's rate of payment is adjusted without delay and arrears issued backdated to 30 March 2018, or the person's 66th birthday if later.

Outcomes will continue to issue to individuals as soon as their reviews are completed.  It will take a number of months to complete the reviews due to the numbers involved and the individual nature of social insurance records.  It is anticipated that this work will be completed at the end of September 2019. 

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.