Written answers

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

State Pension (Contributory) Data

Photo of Jan O'SullivanJan O'Sullivan (Limerick City, Labour)
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303. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number in receipt of the State pension, contributory, in the pre-2012 rate bands by gender; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43937/19]

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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According to the records available to my Department, as at 30 September 2019 there were 222,455 state pension (contributory) claimants in receipt of a state pension (contributory) (SPC) based on the pre-2012 rate bands.

Under social welfare legislation, there are a number of ways to qualify for a State pension (contributory).  In the majority of cases, the rate of pension entitlement is determined by the ‘yearly average’ of social insurance contributions a person achieves over their working life.  In order to qualify for a maximum rate of pension, an applicant should have a yearly average of 48 paid and/or credited contributions from 1979, or from their date of entry into insurable employment, to the end of the last complete tax year preceding the year they turn pension age. 

The following table provides a breakdown by gender of the current State pension (contributory) personal payments based on pre-September 2012 rate bands.

Yearly Average Rate Bands Male Female Total % of Max SPC rate
48+ 81,488 23,833 105,321 100%
20 to 47 34,475 27,935 62,410 98%
15 to 19 4,757 5,603 10,360 75%
10 to 14 5,658 6,019 11,677 50%

In other SPC cases, pension entitlement is determined using other eligibility criteria.  For example, a person who is in receipt of Invalidity Pension at maximum rate immediately prior to their 66th birthday will automatically transfer to the maximum rate of State pension (contributory) on reaching pension age. 

The following table shows the breakdown of such cases by gender.

Rate Calculation not based on Yearly Average Male Female Total
Invalidity 'saver' cases 10,262 10,808 21,070
Other, including pre-53 SPC, half-rate self-employed, etc. 5,214 6,403 11,617
Total 15,476 17,211 32,687

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.


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