Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Pension Provisions

Photo of Cian O'CallaghanCian O'Callaghan (Dublin Bay North, Social Democrats)
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1299. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if the home carer's scheme will be extended to those born before 1 September 1946; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6982/20]

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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In January 2018, I announced an Interim Total Contributions Approach (TCA) to calculate the entitlement of pensioners who reached state pension age on or after 1 September 2012 (i.e. those born on or after 1 September 1946) and who have a reduced rate pension entitlement based on post Budget 2012 rate bands.

People whose pensions were decided prior to 1 September 2012 were not affected by the Budget 2012 rate band changes.  As a consequence, people whose pensions were calculated under the 2000-2012 rate bands were subject to a significantly more generous regime than those who qualified before or afterwards, as a Yearly Average of only 20 contributions per year (out of a maximum of 49) could attract a 98% pension. 

There will be some people who have contributed less frequently into the Social Insurance Fund (which pays for contributory pensions), and who will therefore be below the threshold required for a maximum rate of the State Pension (Contributory).  However, for those with insufficient contributions to meet the requirements for a State Pension (Contributory), they may qualify for a means tested State Pension (Non-Contributory), the maximum personal rate for which is €237 (over 95% of the maximum rate of the contributory pension).  This rate of payment does not include rent allowance, household benefits or fuel allowance.  Alternatively, if their spouse is a State pensioner and they have significant household means, their most beneficial payment may be an Increase for a Qualified Adult, based on their personal means, and amounting up to 90% of a full contributory pension.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

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