Thursday, 22 February 2018

Ceisteanna (217)

Paul Kehoe

Ceist:

217. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question No. 285 of 7 January 2018, if a person (details supplied) was sent correspondance advising them to apply for the State (contributory) pension; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9082/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

According to the records of my Department the person concerned was invited to make an application for state pension (contributory) in November 2013, in advance of their 66th birthday in March 2014. An application for state pension (contributory) was received from the person concerned on 25 April 2016. The person concerned was awarded a reduced rate pension, based on an assessed yearly average of 28 contributions covering the period from February 1967 to end-December 2013. The award of pension, which was backdated by six months to 25 October 2015, was notified in writing to the person concerned on 19 May 2016.

The Deputy will be aware that the Government recently announced proposals that pensioners who qualified for state pension (contributory) since September 2012, and whose rate of entitlement was impacted by the 2012 rate band changes, may apply for a review to have their entitlement considered under a new Total Contribution Approach (TCA). It will take some time to draft and pass the necessary legislation, and then develop the systems and procedures necessary to administer the new pension entitlement option. Accordingly, it is not necessary for any person to contact the Department about their situation. Instead, from late 2018, the Department expects to start inviting these pensioners to apply for a review under the new pension eligibility arrangements and to notify any periods spent caring for which HomeCaring credits may be due. Review applicants will be notified of the outcome of their review and any applicable higher rate of entitlement will be paid to them.

Payment of increases, where awarded, are expected to commence from early 2019 and will be backdated to the 30th March 2018.

I hope that this clarifies matters for the Deputy.