Thursday, 25 October 2018

Ceisteanna (347)

Paul Kehoe

Ceist:

347. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when a system (details supplied) will be implemented; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44340/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Government intends to introduce a Total Contributions Approach (TCA) to establishing the level of entitlement for all new state pension contributory claims from 2020 onwards (TCA2020). I launched a public consultation on this proposal earlier this year in May, which closed last month.  The consultation sought input on a range of relevant factors which included the amount of contributions needed for a full rate contributory state pension, the amount of credited contributions a person could avail of, the provision of Homecaring periods and whether there would be a "phase-in period" for the changes.

Following examination and consideration of the submissions to the consultation, my officials will prepare proposals for the design of the new approach for consideration by the Government in due course.

In the interim, on 23 January last, this Government agreed to a proposal that will allow pensioners affected by the 2012 changes in rate bands to have their pension entitlement calculated on a Total Contributions basis, including provision for up to 20 years of a new home caring credit.

My Department will be writing to the pensioners concerned shortly, to let them know how the process of review will work.  There is no need for pensioners, or anyone on their behalf, to contact my Department about this.  Once the necessary enabling legislation (contained in the Budget Bill) is enacted and the required systems and processes are ready, my Department will again make direct contact with the pensioners concerned about their individual reviews.

The Deputy should note that for those who do not qualify for the State Pension (contributory) (SPC), because they have paid few or no contributions into the Social Insurance Fund, there are other state pension payments available.  Notably, they may qualify for the State Pension (non-contributory) which is a means-tested payment (based on their share of household means) with a maximum payment of 95% of the SPC.  If their spouse has a contributory pension, they may qualify for an increase for a qualified adult (based on their own means), amounting up to 90% of a full rate SPC pension.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.