More than 210,000 State pensioners who are paid weekly in the Post Office will in the coming days be receiving a Post-Budget windfall of up to €234 on top of their regular pension, Minister for Social Affairs, Séamus Brennan T.D., announced today.
The specific once-off payment to 210,477 people is for the weekly increases in pensions announced in the Budget in December and covers the 13 week period from 1st January, when the increases began, to the end of March when new payable order pension books showing the increased value of the pensions will be issued. In the Budget, the State Contributory pension was increased by €16 to over €209 per week and the State Non-Contributory pension went up by €18 per week to €200.
Some 120,000 pensioners who are paid their pensions by other means, such as Electronic Fund Transfer, have been receiving their pension increases weekly since January.
The special payment going out in the days ahead to 210,477 State pensioners means -
- 124,300 State Contributory pensioners will receive a lump sum payment of €208 on top of their current weekly rate of over €209 (over €219 for those aged over 80 years).
- 84,344 on the State Non-Contributory pension will receive once-off payments of up to €234. As this pension is means tested the amount will vary.
- 1,833 on the State Pension (Transition) will receive €208 each.
Minister Brennan said the total cost of this weeks special once-off payments would be almost €50 million and was part of a major package of increases, entitlements and supports announced in the Budget for older people.
"I am sure this once-off payment will come as a welcome boost to over 210,000 older people", the Minister said.
"The Budget increases in pensions are specifically targeted at striving to ensure that all of our older people have at the very least a good basic standard of living. Everyone is entitled to a decent pension and security and dignity in their later years. It is the least we as a society can do in recognition of the contribution our now older people have made to the building of the vibrant, economically buoyant Ireland we have today."
"I have repeatedly stated my conviction that this generation will be judged on how it used the fruits of the economic miracle of recent years to help those most vulnerable in society. We have a responsibility to assist those who for reasons of age, health or other circumstances need the financial lifeline that is welfare support to help them through bad times and to offer hope and encouragement towards better times."
Minister Brennan added that the €60 million commitment to bringing over 37,000 pensioner Qualified Adults (QAA’s) to the level of State pension (Non-Contributory) within three years - supported in the Budget with a first year special increase of over €23 - was an important step forward in his commitment to ensure that the welfare code is fairer to women This significant fundamental reform of social policy is shaped and targeted directly at increasing the status and incomes of women pensioners and enhancing the incomes of older people.
Other significant Budget increases and improvements for pensioners from January include:
- The allowed employment earnings for Non-Contributory pensioners has been doubled to €200 per week.
- Means disregard for State Pension (Non Contributory) increased by €10 per week to €30 - benefiting nearly 26,000 pensioners on reduced rates by increasing their pensions by up to EUR10 extra per week.