Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Ceisteanna (569, 570)

Claire Kerrane

Ceist:

569. Deputy Claire Kerrane asked the Minister for Social Protection the estimated number of 66-year-olds who would be projected to have an entitlement to the State pension in each of the years 2020 to 2030 if the pension age remains at 66 years of age; and the estimated average payment. [38377/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Claire Kerrane

Ceist:

570. Deputy Claire Kerrane asked the Minister for Social Protection the estimated number of 67-year-olds projected to have an entitlement to the State pension in each of the years 2020 to 2030; and the estimated average payment. [38378/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 569 and 570 together.

The Programme for Government “Our Shared Future” sets out how the planned increase in the State pension age next year will be deferred and it will remain at 66 years pending the report of the Commission on Pensions. The Government confirmed as part of its Budget 2021 measures that the required amendment to primary legislation (the Social Welfare Consolidation Act, 2005) will be brought before the Oireachtas later this year as part of the Budget Bill for enactment in advance of the 1st January 2021. The Government has set aside a provision of €221 million in 2021 to support this measure.

Based on modelling conducted earlier this year, my Department estimates that because of demographic pressures the number of pensioners will continue to rise over the next five years (up to 2025) as per the following table, depending on the State Pension Age. It should be noted that the estimates in these tables are subject to change.

2020

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

Keeping the State pension age at 66 years

677,125

700,425

725,325

751,825

779,925

809,625

If the State Pension Age was increased to 67 from 1st January 2021

677,125

679,825

682,525

706,225

730,925

756,625

Modelling on estimated numbers of 66 and 67 year olds who would have an entitlement to the State Pension beyond 2025 on an annual basis has not yet been done to this level of detail and requires a comprehensive examination of demographic changes and actuarial probabilities.

The primary focus of the modelling carried out was to forecast, monitor and explain trends in recipients, costs and expenditure for the current and next year. The average payment values used as part of the 2021 estimates calculations was €251 weekly for State Pension (Contributory) and €228 weekly for State Pension (Non-Contributory). The average payment values includes provision for Increase for Qualified Adult/Child, Living Alone Allowance, Island Allowance and Over 80s allowance as they are all included under the primary scheme payment.

As the Deputy is aware, the Government has approved the establishment of a Commission on Pensions. The Commission’s Terms of Reference includes the development of a range of options to address the sustainability of the state pension and the Social Insurance Fund in terms of pension age, eligibility criteria, contribution rates, pension calculation methods and pension payment rates. The Commission will report to me on its work, findings, options and recommendations by 30th June 2021. The Government intends to take action having regard to the recommendations of the Commission within six months of its report.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.