Local TD Denis Naughten has confirmed that pensioners with reduced State pensions who had them reviewed over the last year, the majority of whom are women, will start to receive payments and arrears from next week.
“Last year the Government took the decision to review the pension of 90,000 people who reached pension age on or after the 1st September 2012 and were awarded less than the maximum rate of pension. These payments are being reviewed under a new Total Contributions Approach (TCA) to pension calculation which includes provision for those caring for a child, disabled or older person,” explained Denis Naughten.
“Minister Regina Doherty has now confirmed to me that her Department will start issuing the outcome of reviews and the first increased payments will start to issue next week. These increased payments will include arrears to the 30th March 2018 or the pensioner’s 66th birthday if later than that.
“Where pension rates do not increase as a result of this review, those pensioners will continue to be paid at their existing rate of entitlement.
“The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection wrote to pensioners last year to explain the process and pensioners had the opportunity to fill in an online form outlining their caring roles over their working life.”
For those who have not completed this form they can still do so online at www.MyWelfare.ie and follow the instructions in the retired and older people section on how to complete your on-line pension recalculation application. A review application form will be available to fill out from next week for pensioners who do not have access to the online service.
“While the majority of those who fall under this review are women, many of whom broke their PRSI record to raise families or care for someone who was ill, this issue also affects many other women and men who, for one reason or another, have a disrupted PRSI record,” explained Denis Naughten.
“This is an issue that I had pursued for a long number of years in Dáil Éireann and an issue which I raised as part of the discussions on the Programme for Partnership Government.
“In my personal experience, Minister Regina Doherty was the first Minister in the last 9 Social Protection Ministers to engage with this topic in order to try and resolve this issue in a practical way. Over my period in Government I engaged directly with Minister Doherty and was supportive of her intention to progress this matter when it was discussed at Cabinet.
“I would now urge those pensioners who have not completed the review form to do so immediately so their caring roles can be fully reflected in the pension payment and arrears,” concluded Denis Naughten.