Written answers

Thursday, 8 February 2024

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Social Welfare Eligibility

Photo of Thomas PringleThomas Pringle (Donegal, Independent)
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235. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the entitlements under class P PRSI contributions; how long a person needs to pay class P contributions in order to benefit; if there are other qualifying requirements for persons to claim class P; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5840/24]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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A person who works in the fishing industry on a self-employed basis and is paid solely by the “share” of the value of the catch is regarded as a share-fisherman/woman. In addition to their liability to pay self employed PRSI class S contributions, they also have the option to pay additional PRSI contributions at class P. This contribution is over and above the PRSI paid under class S and is charged at 4% of all income over €2,500, subject to a minimum annual payment of €200.

Contributions made under PRSI class S entitles a contributor to most of the benefits available under the Social Insurance Fund such as state pension (contributory), widow's, widower's or surviving civil partner's pension (contributory), guardian’s payment (contributory), benefit for 65 year olds, maternity, adoptive and paternity benefits, treatment benefits, invalidity pension, jobseeker’s benefit (self-employed) and parent’s benefit. The additional class P contributions provide share-fisherman/woman with entitlement to limited illness benefit of up to 52 weeks.

To qualify for illness benefit a customer must be unable to work due to illness and either be under pensionable age (currently 66) or, if they were born on or after 1 January 1958 and have attained pensionable age, they have neither reached the age of 70 years nor been awarded a State pension (contributory).

They must also satisfy the contribution conditions. The first condition is that a customer must have at least 104 reckonable contributions paid since they first started in insurable employment. The second condition is that a customer must have at least 39 reckonable contributions paid or credited in the relevant tax year, 13 of these contributions must be paid contributions. Alternatively, a customer must have 26 reckonable contributions paid in the relevant tax year and 26 weeks PRSI paid at the appropriate class in the tax year immediately before the relevant tax year. The relevant tax year is the second last complete tax year before the year in which the claim for illness benefit begins. The last condition is that a customer must have average reckonable weekly earnings above a certain amount in the relevant tax year.

This special arrangement of the Class P contribution recognises the particular circumstances associated with working in the sea-fishing sector in Ireland.

The full qualifying requirements for all benefits available to such contributors under class S and P can be found on gov.ie.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.


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