Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
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]
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.