Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (583)

Michael Healy-Rae


583. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will address a matter regarding the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38640/20]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The person concerned reached pension age on 28 February 2010. According to the records of my Department, they have a total of 1,106 qualifying full-rate paid contributions and 257 credited contributions from their date of entry into insurable employment on 18 April 1970 to end-December 2009. This equates to a yearly average of 33 contributions and gives them an entitlement to a standard State pension (contributory) at 98% of the maximum rate. They were notified in writing of this decision on 5 July 2010.

There is no record of the person concerned having applied for or having paid Voluntary Contributions in advance of reaching pension age. According to the records of my Department, payment was made by the person concerned in February 2010 for outstanding self-employment liabilities.

The matter of a farm partnership between the person and their spouse was investigated by the Scope section of my Department. A formal Scope decision determined that a partnership was in place and the person was in self-employment for the years from 1988/89 onwards. Since their income for 1988/89 was below the PRSI threshold, they were considered to be insurably self-employed from 1989/90. As a result, a bill issued to the person concerned for settlement of their outstanding self-employment liabilities from 1989/90 to 2009. These liabilities were paid in February 2010 prior to the person’s 66th birthday and their contribution record was updated. Consequently, Class S contributions for the tax years 1989/90 to 2009 inclusive have been included in the calculation of the person’s pension entitlement.

Accordingly, the person concerned is in receipt of the correct rate of State pension (contributory), commensurate with their social insurance record as held by my Department.

I have arranged for a copy of their pension award letter to issue to them with a copy of their social insurance record. If they consider that 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.

I hope this clarifies the position for the Deputy.