Tuesday, 25 May 2021
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
419. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if the rate of State pension (contributory) awarded to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry will be reviewed following the award of home caring credits; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28105/21]
According to the records of my Department, the person concerned has a social insurance record of 835 full-rate paid contributions, 186 credited contributions and 604 HomeCaring Periods from their date of entry into insurable employment until pension age. The person's pension entitlement has been assessed under both the yearly average and aggregated contributions methods. Based on their yearly average of 21 contributions, the person is entitled to an 85% rate of State pension (contributory) which has been in payment since the person’s 66th birthday, 24 July 2020.
The aggregated contributions method allows for the inclusion of HomeCaring Periods in the calculation of an applicant's pension entitlement. The maximum rate of State pension (contributory) is awarded where applicants have 2,080 contributions or more. The person concerned has been awarded 604 HomeCaring Periods, which, when taken into account with their 1,021 qualifying contributions and credits, gives them a pension entitlement of 78.12% of the maximum rate.
Accordingly, the person concerned is in receipt of the most financially beneficial rate of State pension (contributory) commensurate with their social insurance record. They were notified of the outcome of their pension review on 24 February 2021. If they consider that they have additional contributions or credits that have not been recorded, it is open to them to forward documentary evidence to my Department and a further review of their pension entitlement can be undertaken.
The person concerned may wish to consider applying for State pension (non-contributory) which is a means-tested, residency-based payment for people of pension age. Social welfare legislation provides that the means test takes account of the income and assets of the applicant and spouse/civil partner/cohabitant. Income and assets include income from employment, self-employment, occupational pensions, maintenance payments as well as property owned (other than the family home) and capital such as savings, shares and other investments.
I hope this clarifies the position for the Deputy.