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State Pensions

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 25 November 2021

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Ceisteanna (286)

Bernard Durkan


286. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of applications for the State pension (contributory) currently in hand and awaiting a decision; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [58181/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

My Department is committed to ensuring that State pension (contributory) claims are processed as expeditiously as possible. The operational target for State pension (contributory) claims is to have 90% of applications awarded (where qualified) by entitlement date, currently the applicant's 66th birthday.

The State Pension Contributory Section in my Department processes pension applications in order of pension age, rather than date of receipt. This ensures that, in the majority of cases, applicants will receive a decision in respect of their State pension (contributory) by date of entitlement.

According to the most recent records of my Department, some 93% of customers were informed of the outcome of their pension application by date of entitlement. According to the latest figures available at end-October 2021, the average processing time achieved is less than 6 weeks.

Based on end-October 2021 reports, there are currently some 3,700 State pension (contributory) claims on hand. Processing of pension claims depends on the individual nature of applicants’ circumstances. It is also dependent on the completeness of applications received and the availability of the required information. Further investigation may be required before notification of decision where the applicant has been self-employed, where they have been in public sector employment or where they may have social insurance recorded in another country.

I hope this clarifies the position for the Deputy.