Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Questions (630)

Willie O'Dea

Question:

630. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if an impact assessment of increasing the contributions required to qualify for a State pension from 30 to 40 contributions under the total contribution approach that is due to come into effect in quarter 3 of 2020 has been conducted; the number of persons that may not be entitled to a full rate of State pension under the changes; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51579/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

The consultation process on the proposed reforms dates back to October 2007 when the Government published the Green Paper on Pensions to stimulate debate on the challenges and options for the future development of pensions. This consultation informed the development of the 2010 National Pensions Framework which included the policy to introduce the Total Contributions Approach (TCA) for the State pension (contributory). This policy was endorsed by a subsequent review of the Irish Pensions System published by the OECD in 2013.

The Roadmap for Pensions Reform 2018-2023 is focused on implementing polices that have already been well debated and have broad support. In particular that the State pension will be reformed in line with the TCA recommended in the National Pensions Framework.

Consultation is a very important part of the development and design of the new pension. With this in mind, I launched a public consultation on the design of the TCA on the 28thof May 2018 to which a wide variety of stakeholder groups were invited. A number of workshops were also held on the day to elicit views and feedback.

Shortly afterwards, Oireachtas members were invited to a detailed briefing by my officials in Leinster House. The consultation was open for over three months and the Department received almost 300 responses from individuals and organisations. Those submissions outlined the views of respondents on the issues of most interest to them.

Having carefully examined the outputs of the consultation process a number of issues were raised in the public consultation, not simply restricted to the TCA reform itself and I am looking to build a model that answers the concerns raised, that is fair, and which is also sustainable into the future.

Officials in my Department are reviewing options for the precise model but a final decision on the model has not yet been made by Government.

It is anticipated that the new TCA model will come into effect in Q3 2020.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Question No. 631 answered with Question No. 616.