Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Questions (28, 32, 33, 44, 49)

Brendan Smith

Question:

28. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the outcome of the review of pension entitlements for persons who were affected by changes in 2012 to the State pension (contributory) scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38823/19]

View answer

Martin Heydon

Question:

32. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of the review of those in receipt of reduced contributory pensions; the number of reviews that have been completed; when the process will be concluded; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38893/19]

View answer

Niamh Smyth

Question:

33. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of the re-examination of pensions for women who lost out on their full State pension (contributory) due to leaving the workforce to rear their children; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38566/19]

View answer

Brendan Smith

Question:

44. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of pensioners whose entitlements have been reviewed; the number whose pensions have increased as a result of the review of entitlements of persons affected by changes in 2012 to the State pension (contributory) scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38824/19]

View answer

Aindrias Moynihan

Question:

49. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons who have been reviewed under the scheme for those affected by the changes to the State pension (contributory) in 2012; the number that have seen no increase in their contributory pensions; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38896/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 28, 32, 33, 44 and 49 together.

Since late September 2018, my Department has been examining the social insurance records of over 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 19 September 2019, 93,981 reviews have been completed; of these, 52,932 are women and 41,049 are men. Of the 52,932 women 28,448 (54%) received an increase while the rest remain on their existing rate. Of the 41,049 men 9,921 (24%) received an increase and the remainder continue to receive their same rate of payment.

Only a small number of reviews remain to be completed and these are awaiting additional information relating to gaps in the social insurance records of individuals requested by my Department. I am advised that the review outcomes will issue to all remaining pensioners in the coming weeks.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputies.