Friday, 7 September 2018
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
1226. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when the European Code of Social Security became binding here; her views on whether the 2012 pension eligibility changes comply with the code in all respects; her further views on the fact that some persons, in view of their age, were not given sufficient notice of the change as set out in the code; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35874/18]
Ireland ratified the European Code of Social Security (Code), Article 74, on 16 February 1971 and has accepted the parts of the Code relating to sickness benefit, unemployment benefit, old-age benefit, family benefit and survivors’ benefit. It is a matter for the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) to examine conformity with the Code and Ireland is not currently in receipt of resolutions from the ECSR, on the application of the Code, relating to Part V, old age benefit.
The eligibility changes to the State Pension Contributory which came into force from 2012 were indicated a significant number of years in advance.
The 1993 report “Developing the National Pensions System – Final Report of the National Pensions Board”, recommended that the number of paid contributions required to qualify for a contributory pension should be increased to 520 (i.e. 10 years). The legislation to effect these recommendations was contained in Section 12 of the Social Welfare Act 1997 which provided for their implementation in two stages, with the paid contribution requirement being standardised at 260 from 2002, rising to 520 from April 2012.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.