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.