S.I. No. 573 of 2012.
SOCIAL WELFARE (CONSOLIDATED CLAIMS, PAYMENTS AND CONTROL) (AMENDMENT) (NO. 12) (REDUCED RATES) REGULATIONS 2012
(This note is not part of the Instrument and does not purport to be a legal interpretation.)
Section 3 of the Social Welfare Act 2012 amends the definitions of the terms "yearly average" and "alternative yearly average", which are contained in the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 and which are used for contributory pension purposes, so as to provide that the amounts so calculated will be rounded to the nearest whole number. As these rounding provisions are currently contained in the Social Welfare (Consolidated Claims, Payments and Control) Regulations 2007, these Regulations make consequential amendments to the 2007 Regulations so as to delete these rounding provisions.
These Regulations also amend the provisions relating to the payment of reduced rates of State Pension Contributory and State Pension Transition in the light of the amendments that are provided for in sections 4 and 9 of the Social Welfare Act 2012.
Following the increase in the minimum number of qualifying contributions required to qualify for the State Pension Contributory from 260 to 520, with effect from 6 April 2012, these Regulations apply this increased contribution requirement in the case of reduced rate pensions payable to people who attain 66 years of age on or after 1 January 2013. These Regulations also make a consequential amendment in the case of the special reduced rate pensions available to people who were affected by the operation of the insurable limit that applied in relation to liability for social insurance contributions before 1974. As the reduced rates of pension that are generally available to people who attain 66 years of age on or after 1 September 2012 are the same as the special reduced rates of pension provided for those affected by the insurable limit, these special reduced rates of pension are being abolished in the case of people who attain 66 years of age on or after 1 September 2012.
Section 9 of the Social Welfare Act 2012 amends the provisions relating to the payment of reduced rates of State Pension Transition so as to enable the increases payable in respect of a qualified adult, as well as the personal rates, to be paid at reduced rates where the person has a reduced yearly average. This change applies to people who attain 65 years of age on or after 1 January 2013. These Regulations specify the reduced rates of increases payable in respect of a qualified adult in the case of people who attain 65 years of age on or after 1 January 2013 and who have reduced yearly averages.