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State Pension (Contributory)

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 21 July 2020

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Questions (464)

Emer Higgins

Question:

464. Deputy Emer Higgins asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason a person (details supplied) was not successful in the review of their State pension (contributory) entitlement; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16733/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

According to the records of my Department, the person concerned has a total of 924 full-rate paid and credited contributions from their date of entry into insurable employment (5 December 1960) to end-December 2009, which equates to a yearly average of 18 contributions. This gives them an entitlement to a reduced rate of State pension (contributory), at 75% of the maximum rate, which has been awarded since 2 March 2012.

The person is in receipt of the correct rate of State pension (contributory), commensurate with their insurance record since December 1960 as held by my Department. Their pension entitlement was confirmed in writing on 16 July 2020, enclosing a copy of their insurance record on which the decision was based. Class J contributions recorded for the tax year 1990/91 are not qualifying contributions for pension purposes. If the person concerned considers they have additional contributions or credits that have not been recorded, it is open to them to forward documentary evidence to my Department and their pension entitlement can be reviewed.

In January 2018, the Government announced a new calculation method for state pension (contributory), including the introduction of new HomeCaring Periods, for people born on or after 1 September 1946, who were awarded state pension (contributory) based on reduced post-Budget 2012 rate bands. On 29 April 2019 the person concerned requested a review of their pension entitlement in light of those changes. They were advised that, as their date of birth is before 1 September 1946, they are not within the cohort of pensioners included in this pension review.

The person concerned may wish to consider applying for State pension (non-contributory) which is a means-tested, residency-based payment for people of pension age. Social welfare legislation provides that the means test takes account of the income and assets of the applicant and spouse/civil partner/cohabitant. Income and assets include income from employment, self-employment, occupational pensions, maintenance payments as well as property owned (other than the family home) and capital such as savings, shares and other investments.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

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