Written answers

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

State Pension (Contributory)

Cormac Devlin (Dún Laoghaire, Fianna Fail)
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966. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of staff employed in the State pension, contributory, section; the average processing time for a State pension, contributory, application; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10513/20]

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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The state pension (contributory) scheme is centrally administered from the Department’s offices located at College Road, Sligo. 

Details of the number of staff engaged in processing applications for state pension (contributory) are shown as follows. 

State Pension Contributory (SPC) No. of staff (whole time equivalents) 
Claims from applicants 

within ROI 
29.3
Claims from outside ROI 14.1

In addition to processing applications from primary claimants and requests for reviews, deciding officers process applications for increases including (and not limited to) for qualified adult; fuel allowance; living alone increase.

The staffing needs for all areas within my Department are continuously reviewed, taking account of workloads, management priorities and the ongoing need to respond to new increasing and urgent demands in delivering a wide range of services.  This is to ensure that the best use is made of all available resources with a view to providing an efficient service to those who rely on the schemes operated by the Department.

My Department is committed to ensuring that state pension (contributory) claims are processed as expeditiously as possible. 

According to the latest figures available at end-May 2020, the average processing time achieved is 4 weeks.

Processing of contributory pension claims depends on the individual nature of social insurance records and the applicant's circumstances.  It is also dependent on the completeness of the application and the availability of the required information.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

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