Thursday, 11 July 2019

Questions (908)

Martin Heydon


908. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of the ongoing reviews of contributory pensions for those in receipt of reduced amounts; when they are expected to be concluded; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [31020/19]

View answer

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.

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.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.