Changes to State Pension (Contributory) rules

The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection has announced changes to how the State Pension (Contributory) is calculated. The changes aim to ensure that all of a person’s social insurance contributions, rather than when they were paid, are taken into account when assessing their entitlement to a pension.

The new Total Contributions Approach (TCA) will include a new HomeCaring credit. This will provide credited contributions for up to 20 years of homemaking and caring duties. The changes will particularly benefit women who spent time outside the paid workplace, while raising families or in caring roles.

The TCA will come into effect on 30 March 2018. It will also be available to anyone who reached pension age after 1 September 2012, when the revised rate bands took effect.  As a result the Department will invite over 40,000 current pensioners to have their pensions recalculated under TCA. Invitations are expected to be sent out in late 2018.

Pensioners do not need to contact the Department or do anything else until they get a letter from the Department nearer the end of 2018.

The first payments will be made in early 2019, with payment backdated to 30 March 2018.