As announced in January 2018 pensioners born on or after the 1st September 1946, affected by the 2012 changes in rate bands, will have their state pension (contributory) entitlement calculated under an interim 'Total Contributions Approach' (TCA). The announced changes also provide for up to 20 years of home caring periods in the pension entitlement calculation, for those who took time out of the workplace for parenting or caring duties.
As the required legislative and system changes are now in place, I am pleased to let the Deputy know that the first reviews have been processed this week. Where an increase is awarded, the rate of payment will be adjusted without delay and backdated to 30 March 2018 or the person's 66th birthday if later.
Where a pension rate does not increase as a result of this review, the person will continue to receive their existing rate of payment. No one will be worse off as a result of this review.
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 the design of the full TCA to be introduced from 2020 on the 28th of May 2018 to which a wide variety of stakeholder groups were invited. A number of workshops were also held on the day to elicit views and feedback. All Oireachtas members were invited to a detailed briefing in Leinster House by my officials shortly afterwards. The consultation was open for over 3 months and the Department received almost 300 responses from individuals and organisations. Those submissions outlined the views of respondents on a number of issues, including the number of years required for a full pension, as intended as part of the consultation process.
I have recently been provided with an analysis of the views submitted in the consultation. I intend bring a proposal to Government shortly, setting out the details of the scheme. When the Government has agreed the approach to be taken, I will initiate the work required to introduce this reform, including the necessary legislation and systems development.
People will be informed of the details of the scheme as soon as possible, following the Government decision.