Minister Doherty Confirms Legislation Approved for Review of Contributory Pensions


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Letters will begin to issue to affected pensioners this week

Thursday 8 November 2018

The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty T.D., today confirmed that enabling legislation for a new Total Contributions Approach (TCA) is included in the Social Welfare Bill which was approved by Cabinet this week. The Minister has included the legislation in the Bill to hasten the changes for those who reached pension age on or after 1 September 2012 and were awarded less than maximum rate, on post Budget 2012 rate bands.   

The legislation will provide for an alternative calculation for contributory pensioners, born on or after the 1 September 1946, based on aggregated contributions and provides for new HomeCaring Periods to take account of time spent out of the workplace for parenting or caring duties. 

Minister Doherty also confirmed that her Department is this week beginning to issue letters to over 70,000 Irish resident contributory pensioners, with a further 8,000 letters to non-resident pensioners planned to issue in December. This letter will explain the review process and inform pensioners that the Department will contact them directly with the outcome of their individual pension review.

The Minister today confirmed:

“I am delighted to report that we are moving to make the necessary changes as fast as possible to ensure a speedy review outcome for all the pensioners involved. My Department has recruited additional staff to carry out an examination of the social insurance records of these pensioners. Additional staff are also being recruited to implement the individual pension reviews and I anticipate that the first review outcomes will be notified to pensioners in early 2019.”

Personal pension entitlement rates will not be reduced as a result of this review. If a pensioner does not qualify for an increased rate, they will continue to receive their existing rate of entitlement. 

Minister Doherty emphasised:

“No pensioner will be worse off as a result of this review and I would expect that many will be positively impacted by the recalculation. From January, if a pensioner is awarded an increase under the new calculation method, they will be moved to a higher rate, backdated to 30 March 2018 or the date they reached 66 years (if later) and arrears paid. Where a pensioner does not benefit from the measures introduced, they will continue to receive their existing rate of entitlement.” 

The Minister added that the reviews, which will take a number of months to complete due to the numbers involved, will commence immediately upon enactment of the Social Welfare Bill. 

ENDS
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

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Last modified:08/11/2018