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Written Answers - Pension Provisions

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 762 No. 1

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 124.  Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae  asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton  if there are any small amount of income that an old age pensioner getting €226 per week in pension, could earn legitimately to help pass their days and yet not interfere with their pension; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19644/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton I consider it important that those who wish to continue in employment after reaching State pension age should, as far as is possible, be facilitated and supported. Longer working will play an important role in ensuring that our pensions system is sustainable in the future. It can be also beneficial to the individual and I am working to create the conditions where people who wish to continue working past State pension age can continue in employment.

Under current legislation, there are three different categories of State pensions available to older people from my Department. The State pension (transition) is payable to people aged 65 years who have retired from work and who satisfy the necessary retirement and social insurance contributions conditions. For those who satisfy the qualifying conditions, it is payable for 12 months until they reach age 66 years. The State pension (transition) is being abolished with effect from 1st January 2014 with State pension age being standardised to age 66 for all. The State pension (contributory) is payable to people aged 66 years or over who satisfy the social insurance contribution conditions required for this payment. A person in receipt of the State pension (contributory) pension can work and earn an income (no limit) without it affecting their pension. Equally, a person who had been getting the State pension (transition) from [189]age 65 years up to age 66 years can, from age 66 years when they transfer to the State pension (contributory), work and earn an income (no limit) and continue to get the State pension (contributory).

The State pension (non-contributory) is payable to people aged 66 years or over who satisfy a means test. In this instance, a person can earn up to €200 gross (less PRSI, superannuation and trade union subscriptions) per week in insurable employment without it affecting their pension. Cash income from employment is assessed as part of the pensioner’s means. This earnings disregard of €200 each applies to pensioners and their spouse/partner in employment. Any income earned in the instances outlined, may be liable for income tax and all social welfare pensions are taxable.


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