What if I was a Homemaker?

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A homemaker is someone who gives up work to take care of a child under age 12 or an incapacitated adult or child aged 12 or over, on or after 6 April 1994.

If you care fulltime for any child or adult, there is normally a gap in your PRSI record. If you work or have already left work to care for any child or person we can disregard any resulting gap in your record up to 20 years when working out the yearly average of PRSI contributions for your State Pension (Contributory).

This arrangement only applies to State Pension (Contributory) and is based only on breaks from work taken after 6 April 1994.

To benefit from the Homemaker’s Scheme, you must have worked and paid PRSI previously (or may do so in the future) at Classes A, E, H and S.

You can get homemaker's credits up to the end of the tax year during which you become a homemaker. Likewise, if you stop being a homemaker during the tax year, you can get homemaker's credits up to the date you stop.

Credits given under the Homemaker's Scheme are reckonable for State Pension (Contribution) only.

Example: You leave work to care for a newborn child.
Child details:
Date of birth - 12 May 1996; 12th Birthday - 12 May 2008

Homemaking Period: 12 May 1996 - 12 May 2008
From: To: Your insurance record:
12 May 1996 5 Apr 1997 You get credits until the end of the tax year
6 Apr 1997 31 Dec 2007 These are counted as full homemaking years
1 Jan 2008 12 May 2008 You get credits until the child’s 12th birthday

The calendar tax year came into effect in 2002. 2001 was a short tax year from 6 April 2001 to 31 December 2001. Before that, the year ran from 6 April of the first year to 5 April of the following year.

This period of homemaking will be disregarded when the yearly average number of contributions for State Pension (Contributory) is being calculated. It may help you qualify for a pension or entitle you to a higher rate of pension.

If you do not return to the workforce after you stop being a homemaker, you may choose to become a voluntary contributor.

For more information, visit 'www.welfare.ie'.

Last modified:21/01/2010

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