Maintaining my existing payment for State Pension (Contributory) - FAQ's


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Failure to report any of the events listed below could result in an overpayment which you may be required to pay back to the Department. If you are in doubt if a change might affect your pension, please check with the State pension (contributory) section without delay.

  1. What changes in circumstances must I notify the Department about?
  2. How can I receive payment of my State pension (contributory)?
  3. Can I receive payment of my State pension (contributory) if I live outside Ireland?
  4. If I intend to live abroad what must I do to continue to receive my State pension (contributory)?
  5. Can I change the bank account my State pension (contributory) is paid to?
  6. Can I have my State pension (contributory) paid into a Credit Union account?
  7. I want to change the Post Office my State pension (contributory) is paid at, what should I do?
  8. I can no longer collect my State pension (contributory) from the Post Office myself; can someone else collect it for me?
  9. If a person is unable to manage their own financial affairs, can an agent be nominated?
  10. What is Power Of Attorney?
  11. What is a general power of attorney?
  12. What is an enduring power of attorney?
  13. What is a Ward of Court?
  14. What is a Public Services Card?
  15. My Public Services Card/Social Services Card is lost or damaged, what should I do?
  16. My State pension (contributory) payment was not lodged into my account, what should I do?
  17. I have received a letter saying my State pension (contributory) payment into my Financial Institution has been returned to the Department, what should I do?
  18. I have received a letter saying my State pension (contributory) payment into my Post Office has been returned to the Department uncollected, what should I do?
  19. I have lost a State pension (contributory) payment cheque, what should I do?
  20. I have an out of date State pension (contributory) cheque, what should I do?
  21. My bank lost a State pension (contributory) cheque when I lodged it, what should I do?
  22. I need a statement of my State pension (contributory) payments, how can I get one?
  23. I need a statement of State pension (contributory) payments for a deceased person, how can I get this?
  24. I have received a Continuing Eligibility (CE) Certificate/Declaration form, what should I do?
  25. I have moved into a nursing home, what should I do?
  26. I am no longer living alone, what should I do?
  27. Can I apply to get paid on my pension for my spouse, civil partner or cohabitant?
  28. Is my Increase for qualified adult affected if my spouse, civil partner or cohabitant’s income (means) changes?
  29. What other benefits or allowances can I claim for?
  30. Can I continue to receive SPC while in prison?
  31. How do I notify the Department of the death of a State pension recipient?
  32. Does the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection deduct income tax from my State pension (contributory)?
  33. Can my Local Property Tax be deducted from my State pension (contributory)?
  34. Where can I get more information in relation to State pension (contributory)?

1. What changes in circumstances must I notify the Department about?

  1. You must inform us in writing or by phone if:
    • the death of a pension recipient, qualified adult or qualified child occurs. You must provide their Personal Public Service Number (PPSN) and the date of death.
  2. You must inform us in writing if:
    • you or your qualified adult change your residential address.
    • you or your qualified adult want to change payment method.
    • your qualified adult or qualified child stops living with you.
    • you or another member of your household are in receipt of fuel allowance and the composition of your household (i.e. the people who live with you ) changes OR the income of your household changes.
    • you are in receipt of an Increase for qualified child and your spouse, civil partner’s or cohabitant’s income (means) increase.
    • you are no longer financially supporting your qualified adult or qualified child.
    • your qualified adult or qualified child becomes entitled to a social welfare payment in their own right.
    • there is a change in the financial circumstances of your qualified adult or qualified child.
    • your qualified child over 18 leaves full time education.
    • you or your qualified adult take up residence in a Nursing Home.
    • your qualified adult participates in a full-time  SOLAS  (formerly FÁS) non craft training course.
    • you, your qualified adult or your qualified child are detained in legal custody.
    • you are in receipt of an increase for living alone  but are no longer living alone.

All correspondence should be sent to:

State pension (contributory) section
Social Welfare Services
College Road
Sligo


Telephone: (071) 91 57100
1890 500 000
If calling from outside the Republic of Ireland please call +353 71 915 7100

Note:
The rates charged for using 1890 (LoCall) numbers may vary among different service providers.

2. How can I receive payment of my State pension (contributory)?

People living in the Republic of Ireland can have their pension paid by one of the following methods:

  • Electronic Fund Transfer – pension is paid one week in advance directly into an account in a financial institution (for example, in a Bank, Building Society, Credit Union or into an An Post Pension Save Account).
  • Electronic Information Transfer – pension is paid weekly using a Public Services / Social Services Card at a chosen Post Office.

Arrears of pension may be included in the normal method of payment or paid by cheque.

People living outside the Republic of Ireland can only be paid by Electronic Fund Transfer into an account. If that account is in an institution in the Republic of Ireland, they are paid weekly, as described above. Otherwise they are paid every four weeks (one week in advance and three weeks in arrears).

 

3. Can I receive payment of my State pension (contributory) if I live outside Ireland?

If you live or intend to live outside the State we will pay your pension directly to your account in a financial institution either in Ireland or the country you choose to live in.

Note: The Department cannot facilitate direct payments to your account in a financial institution in the following countries:

Andorra

Korea

Bermuda

Malaysia

Brazil

Mexico

Bulgaria

Morocco

Chile

Philippines

China

Romania

Costa Rica (Central America)

Saudi Arabia

Egypt

Singapore

Gambia (West Africa)

South America

Hungary

Trinidad and Tobago

Iceland

Turkey

India

Ukraine

Israel

Vietnam

Jamaica

West Indies

Kenya

 

4. If I intend to live abroad what must I do to continue to receive my State pension (contributory)?

If you intend living abroad please forward details of your new address in writing (together with change in payment arrangements if your bank details are different) to:

State pension (contributory) section
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Social Welfare Services
College Road
Sligo

If you move abroad you are obliged to notify this Department immediately of any change in your circumstances. (See Question No. 1)

 

5. Can I change the bank account my State pension (contributory) is paid to?

Yes. To do this please download, complete and return this form or you can write to State pension (contributory ) section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo, stating your name, PPSN and the details of your account as set out in the table below:

Irish or Other EEA Country Account

UK Account

Other Foreign Account

The name  on your account  (you must be named on this account)

The name  on your account  (you must be named on this account)

The name  on your account  (you must be named on this account)

The BIC (Bank Identifier Code)

The 6 digit sort code

Routing No/ BSB code/sort code/ Swift Code or BIC and IBAN

The IBAN (International Bank Account Number)

8 digit bank account number

Your account number

The full name and address of your bank.

The full name and address of your bank.

The full name and address of your bank.

You can find your BIC and IBAN printed on your bank statements or you can request them from your bank

The Department cannot facilitate payment to a EURO account, a credit card account or accounts with Roll Reference Numbers in the UK

The Department cannot facilitate payment to a EURO account outside the EEA area

6. Can I have my State pension (contributory) paid into a Credit Union account?

Payment to some Credit Unions in Ireland can be facilitated – you need to check with your Credit Union to establish if they can accept payment by electronic fund transfer. Please download and complete this form and send it to: State pension (contributory) section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo

 

7. I want to change the Post Office my State pension (contributory) is paid at, what should I do?

You need to write to State pension (contributory) section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo, stating your name, PPSN and details of the new Post Office you wish to collect your payment at. 

 

8. I can no longer collect my State pension (contributory) from the Post Office myself; can someone else collect it for me?

Yes, if you are unable to collect your payment at the Post Office you may appoint an agent to collect your payment for you.

  • If you require a permanent agent

    If you want to appoint an agent to collect your pension you need to download and complete this form and send it to State pension (contributory ) section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo.

  • If you require a temporary agent

    You can get a temporary agent form at your Post Office which you must sign and which must be presented at the Post Office when payment is being collected on your behalf.  A temporary agent can only be appointed to collect five payments in a six month period.

Please note that the Department may cancel an agency arrangement at any time where it has reason to believe that the arrangement is not working satisfactorily

 

9. If a person is unable to manage their own financial affairs, can an agent be nominated?

Yes, where the pensioner is unable to sign their name or manage their financial affairs, Part 6 of the agent form must be completed by a medical practitioner.

Please note that the Department may cancel an agency arrangement at any time where it has reason to believe that the arrangement is not working satisfactorily.

 

10. What is Power Of Attorney?

Power of attorney is a legal device that can be set up by a person (the donor) during his/her life when he/she is in good mental health which allows another specifically appointed person (the attorney) to take actions on the donor's behalf if he/she is absent, abroad or incapacitated through illness.  There are two types of power of attorney under Irish law:-

  • Power of attorney which gives either a specific or a general power and ends as soon as the donor becomes incapacitated
  • An Enduring power of attorney which takes effect on the incapacity of the donor

Both end on the death of the donor.

The Department must be provided with a copy of the Power of Attorney documents and proof of registration for Enduring power of attorney cases, together with details of the pensioner’s current address and the desired method of payment. Please forward all correspondence to State pension (contributory) section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo.

 

11. What is a general power of attorney?

A solicitor is not required to create a general power of attorney. It can be created when signed either by the donor or at their direction and in the presence of a witness. However, it is advisable to get legal advice before you sign a form appointing someone else to manage your affairs.

More information on the general power of attorney process can be found here

 

12. What is an enduring power of attorney?

Because an enduring power of attorney involves the transfer of considerable powers from you to another person, there are a number of legal safeguards to protect you. The procedure for executing an enduring power of attorney is complex and requires the involvement of a solicitor and a doctor. The enduring power can only come into effect when certain procedures have been gone through and it has been registered with the Registrar of The Ward of Courts Office.

The courts have a general supervisory role in the implementation of the enduring power of attorney.

Please forward all correspondence to State pension (contributory) section, Department of Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo.

More information on the enduring power of attorney process can be found here.

 

13. What is a Ward of Court?

The main purpose of Wardship is to look after the welfare and to protect the property of a person where this is considered necessary. The Office of Wards of Court is responsible for administering this process.

If a person considers that there are grounds for making a Wardship application, that person should instruct a solicitor.

The solicitor provides the Registrar with all available details in relation to the medical condition, next of kin, assets and income of the person to be protected.

A family member usually makes the request to bring a person into Wardship. However, the request does not have to be made by a family member. The person’s own solicitor, his or her doctor or the hospital authorities if he or she is a patient in a hospital may make the application.

When a person becomes unable to manage his or her assets because of mental incapacity, an application can be made to the courts for this person to become a Ward of Court.  If it is decided that the person cannot manage his or her own property, a committee is appointed to control the assets on the Ward's behalf.

The Department must be furnished with a copy of the Ward of Court papers to take instruction on the pensioner’s behalf, together with the pensioner’s current address and the payment method to where the pension is to be paid. Please forward all correspondence to State pension (contributory) section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo.

More information on the Ward of Court process can be found here.

 

14. What is a Public Services Card?

A Public Services Card (PSC) has been introduced to replace the Social Services Card used to collect social welfare payments.

The card was first introduced in 2012 and is being rolled out to people getting certain social welfare payments and to new applicants for other social welfare payments. If you apply for, or are currently getting a social welfare payment (including State pension contributory) you may receive an invitation to register for your PSC.  A PSC is usually issued when you are allocated a PPSN.

More information about the PSC and the registration process is available here.

 

15. My Public Services Card/Social Services Card is lost or damaged, what should I do?

  If your PSC (this card contains your photograph) from the Department is lost or stolen you should report this to the PSC Helpdesk at 1890 837 000.  The Department will then cancel the original card   and a replacement card will be issued immediately.

If your Social Services Card is lost or stolen, you need to contact State pension (contributory) section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo at (071) 91 57100 stating your name and PPSN to order a replacement card or complete this form and send it to State pension (contributory) section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo.

 

16. My State pension (contributory) payment was not lodged into my account, what should I do?

You should write to the State pension (contributory) section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo stating your name, PPSN and details of the missing lodgement. Please also attach a statement from your financial institution confirming that the payment was not received. Please include your contact telephone number to enable us to assist you.

 

17. I have received a letter saying my State pension (contributory) payment into my Financial Institution has been returned to the Department, what should I do?

You should complete the form on the reverse side of the letter and return to State pension (contributory) section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo.

Note: No payment can be issued until the completed form is received by State pension (contributory) section.

 

18. I have received a letter saying my State pension (contributory) payment into my Post Office has been returned to the Department uncollected, what should I do?

Payments are returned to the Department by the Post Office if not collected after 8 weeks.

You should complete the form on the bottom of the letter and return to State pension (contributory) section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo.

Note: No payment can be issued until the completed form is received by State pension (contributory) section

 

19. I have lost a State pension (contributory) payment cheque, what should I do?

You should write to the State pension (contributory) section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo, stating your name, PPSN and details of the missing cheque.  Please include your contact telephone number to enable us to assist you.

 

20. I have an out of date State pension (contributory) cheque, what should I do?

You should return the cheque to the State pension (contributory) section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo and the payment will be re-issued to you in due course. Please ensure a contact telephone number is included to enable us to assist you.

21. My bank lost a State pension (contributory) cheque when I lodged it, what should I do?

You should write to the State pension (contributory) section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo stating your name, PPSN and details of the lost cheque. You must also attach a letter of indemnity from your bank. Please ensure your contact telephone number is provided to enable us to assist you.

 

22. I need a statement of my State pension (contributory) payments, how can I get one?

You can request a statement of payments by completing the online statement request form.

You can also contact State pension  (contributory) section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Social Welfare Services , College Road, Sligo at (071) 91 57100 stating your name and PPSN and the year the statement is required for.

23. I need a statement of State pension (contributory) payments for a deceased person, how can I get this?

Statements of pension payments for deceased customers must be requested in writing by the executor/trix of the deceased person’s estate or by the solicitor acting in an official capacity for the deceased person. The executor/trix or solicitor should write to the State pension (contributory) section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo, stating the PPSN and name of the deceased and the year the statement is required for.

If the executor/trix or solicitor is aware that the deceased person has an outstanding debt or overpayment with the Department, it is important that they do not make arrangements for distribution of the deceased’s estate until this matter has been finalised with the Department.

 

24. I have received a Continuing Eligibility (CE) Certificate/Declaration form, what should I do?

You should complete the form and have it witnessed and return it immediately to State pension (contributory) section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo.

If you do not return the CE Certificate/Declaration form by the date requested your pension payment will be suspended.

 

25. I have moved into a nursing home, what should I do?

You should write to State pension contributory section, Department of Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo, stating your name, PPSN and your nursing home address. If you have been in receipt of an Increase for living alone and/or fuel allowance, payment of these allowances will stop as they are not payable to nursing home residents.

 

 26. I am no longer living alone, what should I do?

If you have been in receipt of an Increase for living alone, but somebody has now moved in with you, please write to us (including your name and PPSN) at State pension (contributory) section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo.

If you were living alone and are now living with somebody else at a different address, please write to State pension (contributory) section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo to let us know your new address.   

Your Increase for living alone will be stopped.  

Note: If you are in receipt of fuel allowance, your entitlement will have to be reviewed as this is a household means tested payment.

 

27. Can I apply to get paid on my pension for my spouse, civil partner or cohabitant?

Yes, you can apply for an Increase for a Qualified Adult on your pension. A qualified adult is your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant. This increase is subject to a means test. You will not get this increase if your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant  

  • has gross weekly means of more than €310
    Or
  • is getting a higher rate social welfare payment in their own right (except Disablement Pension, Supplementary Welfare Allowance, Guardian’s Payment or Child Benefit)
    Or
  • is disqualified from getting Jobseeker’s payments while taking part in a trade dispute
    Or
  • is taking part in either a full-time FÁS/Solas non-craft training course or a VTOS course.

If your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant has gross weekly means of €100 or less you will receive the fullincrease for them.

If they have gross weekly means of between €100 and €310, you may get a reduced rate of increase. Where joint means exist (e.g. a joint bank account, property in joint names), half of such means is assessable.

 

28. Is my Increase for qualified adult affected if my spouse, civil partner or cohabitant’s income (means) changes?

Yes, you should write to the Department at State pension (contributory) section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo if there is a change in your qualified adult’s means.

Failure to report a change in your qualified adult’s means could result in an overpayment which you may have to pay back to the Department.

If your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant has gross weekly means of €100 or less you will receive the full increase for them. If they have gross weekly means of between €100 and €310, you will get a reduced rate of increase. Where joint means exist (e.g. a joint bank account), half of such means is assessable.

If your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant deprives themselves of income or property (including money) in order for you to qualify for the increase, or improve your weekly rate of payment, we will include that income or property in the means test if transfer of asset has taken place on or after 29th November 2011 (This may not apply in the case of a farm transfer).

 

29. What other benefits or allowances can I claim for?

In addition to your pension and Increase for Qualified Adult if relevant, you may also qualify for some of the following weekly payments:

  • Increase for a Qualified Child – Where a child normally living with you and aged under 18 or aged up to 22 if they are in full time education and are being financially supported by you.

    If a person claims State pension contributory on or after 5th July 2012, they are not entitled to claim half-rate Increase for a Qualified Child if their spouse, civil partner or cohabitant has an income of over €400 a week.

    Please forward the following details to State pension (contributory) section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo:

    Child’s name, PPSN, date of birth, birth cert and a letter confirming their attendance from school/ college

  • Increase for Living Alone  – if you live alone or mainly alone;

    Please download and complete this form and send it to State pension (contributory) section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo

  • Increase for living on a Specified Island  – if you live on certain Irish offshore islands;

  • Fuel Allowance – a means-tested payment, payable if you live alone or with certain other people;

    Please download and complete this form and send it to State pension (contributory) section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo

  • Age 80 Allowance – No application required, this allowance is automatically paid weekly once you are in receipt of a State pension (contributory) and reach age 80;

  • Household Benefits – Electricity or Gas Allowance and Free TV Licence. Available to people aged 70 or over resident in the State and to people aged under 70 resident in the State, in certain circumstances.

    Only one person in a household can qualify for the package at any time.

For more information on all of these increases, see the relevant links on www.welfare.ie

 

30. Can I continue to receive SPC while in prison?

No, a person is no longer entitled to payment if sentenced to a term of imprisonment or detention in legal custody. Similarly, where a person is getting an increase for a spouse, civil partner or cohabitant who is sentenced to a term of imprisonment or detention in legal custody, such increase in payment is no longer due. The Department should be notified as soon as sentencing has taken place in order that an overpayment will not arise.

To re-activate your pension you should forward the release papers to State pension (contributory) section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo.

There are some exceptions to the disqualification from payment on imprisonment etc. Where a person in prison or in detention in legal custody was in receipt of an increase in respect of a spouse/partner and/or an increase in respect of qualified child/ren, such increases may continue to be made to the spouse/partner or to some other person appointed by the Department to receive the payment for the benefit of the dependants.

Where the spouse/partner is imprisoned and there are child dependants, there may be an entitlement to One-Parent-Family Payment.

 

31. How do I notify the Department of the death of a State pension recipient?

Where the deceased is the main pension recipient

State pension  (contributory) section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo at (071) 91 57100 should be notified of the death, stating the name, PPSN and the date of death. If they were in receipt of an increase for a Qualified Adult I on their pension in respect of their spouse/civil partner/cohabitant or their spouse/civil partner/cohabitant was in receipt of a Social Welfare payment in their own right, there may be an entitlement to six weeks after death benefit.  If there is an entitlement, this payment will issue to the spouse/civil partner/cohabitant automatically. 

Where the deceased person was receiving a payment as a Qualified Adult on your pension

State pension  (contributory) section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo at (071) 91 57100 should be notified of the death, stating your spouse/civil partner or cohabitant’s name, their PPS number and their date of death.  Payment of the six weeks after death benefit will issue automatically to you. 

 

32. Does the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection deduct income tax from my State pension (contributory)?

No. The Department does not deduct income tax from your pension. However, your pension, including Increase for a Qualified Adult, Increase for Qualified Child, Increase for living alone, Increase for living on a Specified Island, is regarded as income for income tax purposes and your liability for tax will depend on your overall circumstances. You should contact your local Revenue office if you have any questions about your tax liability.

 

33. Can my Local Property Tax be deducted from my State pension (contributory)?

Yes, you can have the Local Property Tax deducted from your State pension (contributory) payment but you must contact your local tax office to make the necessary arrangements. Revenue will notify the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection directly, on your behalf, if such an agreement has been entered into. You do not need to contact us. Any queries in relation to the local property tax should be directed to your local Revenue office or you can call 01 702 3049.

 

34. Where can I get more information in relation to State pension (contributory)?

For more information in relation to the State pension (contributory):

  • See www.welfare.ie
  • Contact your local Citizens Information Centre or Social Welfare Local Office
  • Telephone: (071) 91 93302
    LoCall 1890 500 000

    If calling from outside the Republic of Ireland please call (071) 91 93302

Note:
The rates charged for using 1890 (LoCall) numbers may vary among different service providers.

 

Last modified:02/10/2017