Seanad debates

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Adjournment Matters.

Home-makers Scheme

6:50 pm

Photo of Marie MoloneyMarie Moloney (Labour) | Oireachtas source

I would have liked to have seen the Minister for Social Protection, Deputy Burton, attend debate but I will proceed in her absence. I tabled this matter because the budget moved the goal posts as regards qualifying for the State pension. Up to last year, a yearly average of 20 contributions would have given a person 95% of a State pension. With the graduation of rates of pay and bands, however, this is no longer the case. Women in particular have been caught in the cross-fire. I am referring to a cohort of women who gave up working voluntarily to raise their families or because of the marriage bar. They only worked for a few years before they had their families and returned to work after their children were raised. Their yearly averages are reduced by the number of years they spent raising their families.

In April 1994, the homemaker's credit was introduced for women who stayed at home to raise their families. While that is to the good, some women now reaching pension age are being caught in terms of their pensions. Not every woman needed to give up work. Some never returned after raising their families, others are in receipt of widow's pensions and others are financially better off as dependent adults on their husbands' State pensions. I am seeking credits for the small number of women in question in respect of the period 1968 to 1994 so as to increase their State pension rates. I will wait the response of the Minister for Social Protection, on which the Minister present has been briefed, before contributing further.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.