Written answers

Thursday, 23 March 2006

Department of Social and Family Affairs

Pension Provisions

5:00 pm

Photo of Michael MulcahyMichael Mulcahy (Dublin South Central, Fianna Fail)
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Question 136: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Affairs his plans to provide pensions to Irish missionaries living abroad in developing countries who do not intend to return home to Ireland. [11429/06]

Photo of Séamus BrennanSéamus Brennan (Minister, Department of Social and Family Affairs; Dublin South, Fianna Fail)
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Missionaries who have made sufficient social insurance contributions can qualify for an old age contributory pension. Contributory pensions are payable abroad and so missionaries who qualify and who chose to settle overseas can receive a payment. Non-contributory pensions are only payable where a person is resident in this country. Accordingly, missionaries who return here and who satisfy the habitual residence condition and a means test can qualify for a pension.

Officials of my Department made a presentation to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs in November 2005 on pensions for missionaries. Following the presentation, a working group, which includes my Department, was established to examine issues relating to social protection coverage for missionaries, notably relating to pension coverage. The question of providing pensions for missionaries who retire abroad will be considered in the light of the conclusions of the working group.

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