The person concerned is currently in receipt of state pension (non-contributory) since 20 March 2015, and has not submitted an application form for state pension (contributory) to my Department.
In order to qualify for the state pension (contributory) a minimum of 520 full-rate paid contributions is required. The Total Contributions Approach to calculation of pension entitlement, launched in January 2018, determines the rate of payment for those with an entitlement to a state pension (contributory). It does not remove the requirement to be entitled to such a pension in the first place, based on criteria set out in legislation.
It is open to the person concerned to apply for this pension. When a completed application is received by my Department, the person’s eligibility for this pension will be determined, taking account of time spent out of the workforce for caring duties, once the minimum 520 contribution condition has been met. Notification of the pension decision will issue in writing to the person concerned.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.