Social insurance fund to finish with a surplus of €377 million in 2016

Print page

Monday, 26 December 2016:  Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has announced that the Social Insurance Fund which is paid for by employers, employees and from self-employed PRSI contributions will finish with a surplus of €377 million this year for the first time since 2007.

Minister Varadkar said he intends to keep the Fund in surplus in the years ahead, while extending the range of benefits available to PRSI contributors.

The Social Insurance Fund went from deficit of €2,751 million in 2010 in the year before Fine Gael came to office, to a surplus in 2016. This is the first surplus since 2007.

The Social Insurance Fund is sourced from PRSI contributions from employers, employees and the self-employed.

The State Pension (Contributory), Widows, Widowers, Surviving Civil Partner (Contributory), Invalidity Pension , Maternity Benefit, Carers Benefit and Illness Benefit are all funded from the Social Insurance Fund. Since last September it has also paid for Paternity Benefit.

Next year new benefits will be provided from the Fund including treatment benefits and the Invalidity Pension for the self-employed.

“The Social Insurance Fund is in surplus of the first time since 2007. This reflects the recovering economy with fewer people unemployed and incomes rising again,” Minister Varadkar said.

“I intend to keep the Social Insurance Fund in surplus. This is important. We need to prepare for an ageing population and the rising pension costs that come with it. Although the economic prognosis for Ireland remains good, we should also keep some headroom in the event of future economic uncertainty.

“At the same time, I plan to extend social insurance benefits in the coming years in an affordable, prudent and sustainable way. In 2016 this includes the extension of dental and eye checks and the invalidity pension to the self-employed for the first time, and the restoration of other dental and eye treatments to everyone who pays PRSI. This is in addition to a €5 increase in maximum weekly payments.

“The Programme for Government contains a commitment for further parental leave. I am examining other measures including a form of Jobseeker’s Benefit for the self-employed and a longer period of Jobseeker’s Benefit before the means-test kicks in for people who have made a high level of contributions.

“Separately, the Department will conduct an independent actuarial review of the Social Insurance Fund in 2016 to update our projections about the impact of demographics on the fund in the years ahead.”

Last modified:26/12/2016