Minister Doherty Reports Progress in Review of Contributory Pensions


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Minister Doherty Reports Progress in Review of Contributory Pensions

Minister outlines the timeline for Reviews of State Pension (Contributory) Pensioners on post 2012 rate bands

The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty T.D., today (Monday, 8 October 2018) reported that “good progress is being made preparing for the reviews of pensions announced by the Government earlier this year.” 

The measures apply to people whose rate of entitlement was assessed based on pension rate band changes introduced in 2012.  They will provide for an alternative total contributions approach with a re-calculation for contributory pensioners born on or after the 1st September 1946 and new HomeCaring Periods to take account of time spent out of the workplace for parenting or caring duties. 

Minister Doherty said that a number of elements have to be put in place to facilitate the implementation of these changes.  Legislation has to be enacted to enable implementation and an information technology system has to be developed and tested.

The Minister today confirmed:

“My Department is currently working on these preparations and I am happy to report that these are at an advanced stage.  Temporary staff are being recruited to carry out the reviews, with the first phase involving an examination of the social insurance records of these pensioners getting under way now.”

The Minister confirmed that letters will be issuing to the 67,000 pensioners concerned at the end of October, to explain to them how the process of review will work and to give them an update on progress.  Minister Doherty added:
 

“No pensioner will be worse off as a result of this review and I would expect the majority to be positively impacted by the recalculation and moved to a new, higher payment. Where a pensioner does not benefit from the measures introduced, they will continue to receive their existing rate of entitlement.” 

The Minister advised that it is not necessary for people to directly contact the Department on this matter.  Once the legislation is enacted and the systems and processes are ready,  the Department will make direct contact with the pensioners concerned about their individual reviews. 

The Minister finished by adding that it is expected that, where increases are awarded, the first payments will be made in the first quarter of 2019, backdated, where relevant, to the end of March 2018, or later where a person reached their 66th birthday since that date.   

ENDS

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Last modified:08/10/2018