Written answers

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

State Pension (Contributory) Data

Photo of Éamon Ó CuívÉamon Ó Cuív (Galway West, Fianna Fail)
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59. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of cases examined to date under the new full contribution system introduced for calculating State pension (contributory) for those who became 66 years of age after September 2012; the number who benefited by less than €10, €10 and €20, €20 and €30 and more than €30; the number who benefited by less than €10 and are now receiving the full pension; if she is satisfied that this scheme has dealt fully with the expectations of persons pension affected by the change in 2012; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43627/19]

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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The new Total Contributions Approach (TCA) to pension calculation includes provision for homecaring periods.  When launching the interim TCA in January 2018, I stated the approach was expected to significantly benefit many people, particularly women, whose work history includes an extended period of time outside the paid workplace, while raising families or in a caring role.  While I can’t comment on the expectations of others, I believe it is fair to say that the introduction of TCA has benefitted many people, particularly women.

Since late September 2018, my Department examined the social insurance records of over 90,000 pensioners, born on or after 1 September 1946, who had a reduced rate State pension contributory entitlement based on post-Budget 2012 rate bands.  To date, of those who received an increase, 74% are women.  

Reviews commenced from 13 February 2019, the day after I signed the necessary Regulations.  As at 16 October 2019, 94,244 reviews are completed.  Of these, 53,080 are women and 41,164 are men.  Of the 53,080 women, 28,520 (54%) received an increase while the rest remain on their existing rate.  Of the 41,164 men, 9,955 (24%) received an increase and the remainder continue to receive their same rate of payment.

The latest information available on the detailed breakdown requested is that, at the end of September 2019:

- 21% of those who received an increase received a weekly increase of €30 or more;

- 32% received a weekly increase of between €20 and €30;

- 10% received an increase of between €10 and €20;

- with the highest proportion, 37%, receiving an increase of up to €10 per week.

Of those awarded an increase of less than €10 following review, 7,662 are now in receipt of the maximum rate of state pension (contributory).


Monica Condron
Posted on 24 Oct 2019 5:54 pm (Report this comment)

It is astonishing that only 38,205 of the 94,244 pensioners reviewed received any increase. That leaves 56,039 pensioners who received nothing. Disgraceful! They should have reversed the changes to the pension band rates in Budget 2012 and separately taken care of all the women who retired since the introduction of the Homemaker Scheme in 1994.

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