S.I. 321 of 2012


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S.I. No. 321 of 2012.

SOCIAL WELFARE (CONSOLIDATED CLAIMS, PAYMENTS AND CONTROL) (AMENDMENT) (NO. 8) (REDUCED RATES) REGULATIONS 2012

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Instrument and does not purport to be a legal interpretation.)

One of the contribution conditions to be satisfied in order to qualify for State pension (contributory) or State pension (transition) is that the claimant must have a yearly average of at least 48 contributions over his or her working life. Where this condition is satisfied the maximum rate of pension is paid. Where a claimant has a yearly average of less than 48, State pension (contributory) and State pension (transition) can be paid in certain circumstances. But in this case the pension is paid at a reduced rate.

At present there are 4 reduced rates of State pension (contributory) which are related to the claimant's yearly average as follows — 5 to 9, 10 to 14, 15 to 19 and 20 to 47. In the case of State pension (transition) there is one reduced rate of pension that applies where a claimant has a yearly average between 24 and 47. In addition, the rates of increase for qualified adults are also reduced where the claimant has a yearly average of less than 20.

These Regulations provide for a number of changes to the reduced rates of State pension (contributory) payable to claimants who attain 66 years of age on or after 1 September 2012 and in the reduced rates of State pension (transition) payable to claimants who attain 65 years of age on or after 1 September 2012. Existing pensioners and claimants who attain 65 or 66 years, as appropriate, before 1 September 2012 will not be affected by these changes.

In the case of State pension (contributory), the following changes are being made—

  • reduced rate pensions will be limited to those with a yearly average of at least 10,
  • the current reduced rate, which applies to those with a yearly average of between 20 and 47, is being replaced by 3 reduced rates which will be related to the claimant's yearly average as follows — 20 to 29, 30 to 39 and 40 to 47,
  • the new reduced rates of pension will be paid in proportion to the claimant's yearly average of contributions, i.e. the more contributions people pay throughout their working lives, the higher the State pension (contributory) that will be paid, and
  • the rates of increase for qualified adults will be reduced in all cases where the claimant's yearly average is less than 48.

In the case of State pension (transition), reduced rate pensions will continue to be paid to those who have a yearly average of at least 24. But the current reduced rate, which applies to those with a yearly average of between 24 and 47, is being replaced by 3 reduced rates which will be related to the claimant's yearly average as follows — 24 to 29, 30 to 39 and 40 to 47. The new reduced rates of State pension (transition) will be paid in proportion to the claimant's yearly average of contributions.

Last modified:04/09/2012
 

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