Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Ceisteanna (606)

Bernard Durkan


606. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question No. 606 of 5 February 2019, the other avenues the person can explore to increase their pension (details supplied). [7725/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

According to the records of my Department, the person concerned has a total of 835 full-rate paid and credited contributions from 1962 to 2011, inclusive. This results in an assessed yearly average of 17 contributions, which qualifies the person for a state pension (contributory) rate of 75%, based on their Irish record. As the person was born before 1 September 1946, their entitlement was not affected by the Budget 2012 changes. The person's eligibility for an EU pro-rata pension was also examined, based on their combined Irish and UK social insurance records.

As the person was already entitled to receive a higher, maximum rate increase for qualified adult payment on their spouse's state pension (contributory), this more financially beneficial payment continued. This rate is equivalent to approximately 90% of the maximum rate of state pension (contributory).

It is open to the person concerned to apply for a means-tested state pension (non-contributory) in their own right. The maximum personal rate of state pension (non-contributory) is currently €232 per week, which is approximately 95% of the maximum rate of contributory pension. Entitlement to state pension (non-contributory) is subject to a joint means test. Items which count as means include cash income, including foreign pensions, the value of any property (excluding the couple’s own home) and the value of any savings and investments which a person or their spouse may have. In order to qualify for the state pension (non-contributory), the applicant must be habitually resident in the State.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.