Know your rights: Preparing for retirement // Ag ullmhú chun scor ón obair

Question

I will be retiring from work in 2017 when I reach 65. What do I need to know about pensions and other benefits in retirement?

Answer (March 2017)

When you retire at age 65 you can claim Jobseeker’s Benefit, which is based on your Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) contributions. If you do not qualify for Jobseeker’s Benefit, you can claim Jobseeker’s Allowance, which is means-tested.

At age 66, you may be entitled to the State Pension (Contributory). If you do not have enough PRSI contributions, you can apply for a State Pension (Non-Contributory), which is means-tested. You should apply for a State Pension at least three months in advance.

You may have contributed to an occupational pension scheme during your working life or you may have a personal pension arrangement. You need to contact the pension provider to find out exactly what benefits your pension gives you.

If you move from employment to retirement in the course of the year, you should get a PAYE Balancing Statement (P21) from your local tax office at the end of the year. This will trigger a refund if you have paid too much tax.

Your Jobseeker’s Benefit or State Pension and any occupational pension are taxable. However, the tax exemption limits are higher for people aged 65 or over and there are some extra tax credits.

At age 66, you will be exempt from paying PRSI. At age 70, you will pay a reduced Universal Social Charge if your annual income is €60,000 or less.

At age 66, you will also be eligible for a Free Travel Pass and may be eligible for the Household Benefits Package, which consists of a free TV licence and an electricity or gas allowance.

For medical cards and GP visit cards, which are means tested, the income thresholds  are higher for people aged 66 and over. If you are over 70 there is a different means test for the medical card and you can get a GP visit card without an income test.

Ceist

Beidh mé ag scor ón obair i 2017 nuair a shroichim 65.  Céard a theastaím uaim fáil amach faoi phinsin agus sochair eile agus mé ag scor?

Freagra

Nuair a scoireann tú ag aois 65 is féidir leat Sochair Cuardaitheora Poist a éileamh, atá bunaithe ar do ranníocaíochtaí ÁSPC.  Mura gcáilíonn tú do Shochar Cuardaitheora Poist, is féidir leat Liúntas Cuardaitheora Poist a éileamh, agus tá tástáil mhaoine i gceist.

Ag aois 66 d’fhéadfá a bheith i dteideal an Pinsean Stáit (Ranníocach) a fháil.  Mura ndearna tú go leor ranníocaíochtaí ÁSPC, is féidir leat iarratas a dhéanamh arPhinsean Stáit (Neamh-ranníocach) agus déantar tástáil mhaoine air sin. Ba cheart cur isteach ar an bPinsean Stáit ar a laghad trí mhí roimhré.

Seans gur chuir tú le scéim pinsean ceirde le linn do shaoil oibre nó seans go bhfuil socrúchán pearsanta pinsin agat.  Is ceart dul i dteagmháil leis an soláthraí pinsin chun fáil amach cé na sochair bheachta a thabharfas do phinsean duit.

Má bhogann tú ó fhostaíocht go scor le linn na bliana, is féidir leat ráiteas comhardaithe (P21) a iarraidh ó d’oifig chánach áitiúil ag deireadh na bliana. As sin gheobhaidh tú aisíoc má d’íoc tú an iomarca cánach.

Tá do Shochar Cuardaitheora Poist nó Pinsean Stáit agus aon phinsean ceirde eile incháinithe.  Mar sin féin, tá na teorainneacha díolúine cánach níos airde do dhaoine ar 65 nó níos mó iad agus tá roinnt creidiúintí cánacha breise eile.

Ag aois 66, beidh tú díolúine ó ÁSPC a íoc.  Ag aois 70, íocfaidh tú Muirear Sóisialta Uilíoch laghdaithe más é d’ioncam bliantúil €60,000 nó níos lú.

Ag aois 66, beidh tú incháilithe do Phas Saorthaistil agus seans go mbeidh tú incháilithe do Phacáiste Sochar Teaghlaigh, ina n-áirítear ceadúnas teilifíse saor agus an liúntas leictreachais nó liúntas gáis.

Do chártaí leighs agus Cártaí Cuairte LG, a bhfuil tástáil mhaoine i gceist, tá an tairseach ioncaim  níos airde do dhaoine ar aois 66 nó níos mó iad.  Má tá tú níos mó ná 70, tá tástáil mhaoine dhifriúil don chárta leighis agus is féidir leat cárta cuairte LG a fháil gan tástáil ioncaim.

How to raise an issue using the public petitions process

If you want to raise an issue with the Houses of the Oireachtas on a matter of public policy or general public interest, you can submit a petition to the Joint Committee on Public Petitions. You can put forward a petition by completing a standard form (pdf) and submitting it by email or post. You can also submit your petition online.

The issue raised must be admissible for consideration by the committee.  If the petition is admissible, the Committee may respond in a number of ways.

Find out more in our document on public petitions.

Prescription charges for medical card holders over the age of 70

If you have a medical card, there is a charge for prescribed medicines and other items that you get on prescription from pharmacies. The prescription charge is €2.50 for each item that is dispensed to you under the medical card scheme, up to a maximum of €25 per month per person or family.

From 1 March 2017, the prescription charge for medical card holders over the age of 70 will be reduced to €2 per item and the monthly maximum will be reduced to €20.

Find out more on the Department of Health website.

Know Your Rights: Domestic violence // Foréigean baile

Question

My partner has been violent towards me and my children. What can I do to stop this and protect my family?

Answer (February 2017)

If you are concerned about violence in your home, you can contact the Gardaí, who are specially trained to deal with these situations and can offer advice and information. Under the Domestic Violence Act 1996, where there is an order in place, Gardaí have the power to arrest and prosecute a violent family member. There are two main kinds of protection available – a safety order and a barring order.

A safety order is an order of the court which prohibits the violent person with whom you are living from further violence or threats of violence. It does not oblige the person to leave the family home. You can also get a safety order against a person with whom you have had a child, even if you are no longer living with or have never lived with the person. It prohibits them from watching or being near your home.  A safety order can last up to 5 years.

A barring order is an order which requires the person to leave the family home. If you are not married or in a civil partnership, you can get a barring order against a violent partner if you have been living together in an intimate and committed relationship for 6 out of the previous 9 months and if your partner does not own most or all of the house you are living in. A barring order can last up to 3 years.

Both types of order can be renewed by applying for a further order before the previous one has expired.

Others living together can also apply for protection.  For example, a parent can apply for protection against domestic violence by their own child, if the child is over 18.

To get a barring order or a safety order, you must apply to the District Court. While you are waiting for the court to hear your application, the court can give you an immediate order, called a protection order. The protection order has the same effect as a safety order. In exceptional circumstances the court can grant an interim barring order. This is an immediate order, requiring the violent person to leave the family home.

Question
My partner has been violent towards me and my children. What can I do to stop this and protect my family?

Answer
If you are concerned about violence in your home, you can contact the Gardaí, who are specially trained to deal with these situations and can offer advice and information. Under the Domestic Violence Act 1996, where there is an order in place, Gardaí have the power to arrest and prosecute a violent family member. There are two main kinds of protection available – a safety order and a barring order.

A safety order is an order of the court which prohibits the violent person with whom you are living from further violence or threats of violence. It does not oblige the person to leave the family home. You can also get a safety order against a person with whom you have had a child, even if you are no longer living with or have never lived with the person. It prohibits them from watching or being near your home.  A safety order can last up to 5 years.

A barring order is an order which requires the person to leave the family home. If you are not married or in a civil partnership, you can get a barring order against a violent partner if you have been living together in an intimate and committed relationship for 6 out of the previous 9 months and if your partner does not own most or all of the house you are living in. A barring order can last up to 3 years.

Both types of order can be renewed by applying for a further order before the previous one has expired.

Others living together can also apply for protection.  For example, a parent can apply for protection against domestic violence by their own child, if the child is over 18.

To get a barring order or a safety order, you must apply to the District Court. While you are waiting for the court to hear your application, the court can give you an immediate order, called a protection order. The protection order has the same effect as a safety order. In exceptional circumstances the court can grant an interim barring order. This is an immediate order, requiring the violent person to leave the family home.

Know Your Rights: Carers and free travel // Cúramóirí agus saorthaisteal

Question

I care full-time for a relative with a disability and I have applied for Carer’s Allowance. Although I am not yet aged 66 would I be entitled to a free travel pass, if I qualify for this allowance?

Answer (February 2017)

Everyone aged 66 and over living permanently in the State is entitled to the Free Travel Scheme. If you are under age 66 and registered for a Public Services Card, you will be awarded free travel with your Carer’s Allowance. You will be issued with a new Public Services Card which will also be your Free Travel Card. The card will have “F-T” printed in a yellow octagon in the top left-hand corner.

If you have not yet registered for the Public Services Card, you will be asked to register before your Free Travel Card issues to you.

The Public Services Card allows people to access a range of government services and payments and it will eventually replace the Free Travel Pass. In order to keep your entitlement to Free Travel, you must register for the Public Services Card when requested to do so by the Department of Social Protection. Your entitlement to Free Travel will be disallowed or withdrawn if you don’t register.

You must show your Public Services Card to the travel operator when you are travelling on public transport. (In some cases you may be asked to scan your Public Services Card. However, not all transport operators have this facility.)

Note that people under 66 getting PRSI-based Carer’s Benefit are not entitled to a Free Travel Card.

If you are living with the person you care for, you may also be entitled to the Household Benefits Package, which includes an electricity or gas allowance as well as a free TV licence.  Only one person in a household can qualify for the package at any time.

Ceist

Tugaim cúram go lánaimseartha do ghaol le míchumas agus chuir mé isteach ar an Liúntas Cúramóra.  Cé nach bhfuilim 66 an mbeinn i dteideal ar phas saorthaistil, má cháilím don liúntas seo?

Freagra

Tá gach duine ar 66 iad agus a bhfuil cónaí sa Stát go buan i dteideal ar an Scéim Shaorthaistil.  Má tá tú faoi 66 agus cláraithe don Chárta Seirbhísí Poiblí, bronngar saorthaisteal ort le do Liúntas Cúramóra.  Eiseofar thú le Cárta Seirbhísí Poiblí nua agus is Cárta Saorthaistil é seo freisin.  Beidh “F-T” scriofa ar ochtagán buí sa chúinne ar an mbarr ar thaobh na láimhe clé.

Mura gcláraigh tú don Chárta Seirbhísí Poiblí fós, iarrfar ort clárú sula dtugtar Cárta Saorthaistil duit.

Cuireann an Cárta Seirbhísí Poiblí ar chumas daoine rochtain ar raon seirbhísí rialtais agus íocaíochtaí rialtais agus tiocfaidh sé in áit an Pas Saorthaistil.  Chun do theidlíocht Saor Thaisteal a choinnigh, caithfidh tú clárú le haghaidh Cárta Seirbhísí Poiblí nuair iarrann an Roinn Coimirce Sóisialaí ort é a dhéanamh.  Mura gcláraíonn tú, beidh do theidlíocht Saor Thaisteal dícheadaithe nó aistarraingthe.

Caithfidh tú do Chárta Seirbhísí Poiblí a thaispeáint don oibreoir taistil agus tú ag taisteal ar iompar poiblí. (I gcásanna áirithe, iarrtar ort do Chárta Seirbhísí Poiblí a scanadh,  áfach níl an áis seo ag gach oibreoir um iompar.)

Tabhair faoi dear nach bhfuil daoine faoi 66 ag fáil an Sochar Cúramóra bunaithe ar ÁSPC i dteideal ar Chárta Saorthaistil.

Má tá tú i do chónaí le duine a dtugann tú cúram dó/di, seans go bhfuil tú i dteideal ar an bPacáiste Sochar Teaghlaigh, ina n-áirítear liúntas leictreachais nó gáis chomh maith le ceadúnas teilifíse saor in aisce.   Ní féidir ach le duine amháin sa teach cáiliú don phacáiste ag am ar bith.

Know Your Rights: Importing a car into Ireland // Carr a iompórtáil go hÉirinn

Question

What are the rules about buying a car in the UK and bringing it back to Ireland?

Answer (February 2017)

In general, all vehicles brought into Ireland are subject to Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) and must be registered. If you have imported a vehicle, you must pay VRT and receive the vehicle’s registration certificate showing that you have paid VRT.

If you live abroad and are moving to live in Ireland, you may be eligible for a VRT exemption. Even if you are not required to pay VRT, you must still register your vehicle when you move to Ireland. In certain cases, foreign-registered vehicles may be imported into Ireland temporarily by a non-resident without the requirement to pay VRT or register the vehicle.

You register the car and pay the VRT at a National Car Testing Service (NCTS) centre. You can get an estimate of the VRT due from the Revenue Vehicle Registration Online Enquiry System.

When you register and pay the VRT, a registration number will be assigned to your car. You can obtain vehicle registration plates from the NCTS centre or from any motor factor.

If you are importing a new car from another EU state, you have to pay VAT (Value Added Tax), usually when registering the car. If you are importing a new or second- hand car from outside the EU, VAT (and customs duty) is payable.

If your vehicle is 4 years old or more, it will have to go through the National Car Test (NCT) immediately.

Further information is available in the Revenue guide to VRT and on revenue.ie.

Ceist

Cad iad na rialacha a bhaineann le carr a cheannach sa Ríocht Aontaithe agus é a thabhairt ar ais go hÉirinn?

Freagra

Go ginearálta, bíonn gach feithicil a iompórtáiltear isteach go hÉirinn faoi réir Cáin Chláraithe Feithiclí (CCF) agus ní mór iad a chlárú. Má tá feithicil iompórtáilte agat, ní mór duit CCF a íoc agus an teastas Cláraithe feithicle don fheithicil a fháil a thaispeánann go bhfuil CCF íoctha agat.

Má tá tú i do chónaí thar lear agus go bhfuil tú ag bogadh go hÉirinn, seans go bhfuil i dteideal ar dhíolúine ó CCF.   Fiú mura gá duit CCF a íoc, ní mór duit d’fheithicil a chlárú nuair a thagann tú go hÉirinn.  I roinnt cásanna, is féidir le neamhchónaitheoir feithiclí a cláraíodh i dtír iasachta a thabhairt isteach go hÉirinn gan an gá CCF a íoc nó an fheithicil a chlárú.

Cláraíonn tú an carr agus íocann tú an CCF ag Ionad Tástáil Náisiúnta Carranna.  Is féidir leat meastachán den Cháin Chláraithe Feithiclí dlite a fháil ó Chóras Fiosrúcháin ar Líne um Chlárú Feithiclí.

Nuair a chláraíonn tú agus a íocann tú an CCF, tugtar uimhir chlárúcháin do do charr.  Is féidir leat plátaí cláraithe feithicle a fháil ón ionad STNC nó ag aon siopa earraí cairr.

Má tá tú ag iompórtáil carr nua ó stát AE eile, ní mór duit an CBL (Cáin Bhreisluacha) a íoc, de ghnáth agus tú ag clárú an chairr.   Má tá tú ag iompórtáil carr nua nó carr dara láimhe ó thír taobh amuigh den AE, tá CBL (agus dleacht chustaim) iníoctha.

Má tá d’fheithicil 4 bliana d’aois nó níos mór, rachaidh sé trid an Tástáil Carranna Náisiúnta láithreach.

Chun eolas breise a fháil téigh chuig treoir don CCF agus revenue.ie.

Know Your Rights: Family Income Supplement and student grants // Forlíonadh Ioncaim Teaghlaigh agus Deontais do Mhic Léinn

Question

My wife and I are applying for the Family Income Supplement (FIS) for our family of two children.  We are unsure about what income is included in the means test for this payment. For example, will my wife’s student grant be included?

Answer (February 2017)

Family Income Supplement (FIS) is a weekly tax-free payment for families, including one-parent families, at work on low pay.  The combined income of a couple (married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting) is taken into account when your means are assessed for FIS. Income from any source, including a student grant, is assessed in the means test. However, the following payments are not counted as family income:

Capital is not assessed. This includes property you own, bank accounts and cars. However, bank accounts may be checked for other income sources and income derived from the use of a car that you own may be assessed (for example as a taxi).

The main items counted as income are a couple’s  assessable earnings, any extra earned in employment (such as pay for overtime, bonuses, allowances or commission), income from self-employment, occupational pensions, social welfare payments (apart from those listed above), income from carer’s payments or rental income from the letting of property or land.

Ceist

Tá mo bhean chéile agus mé féin ag cur isteach ar an  bhForlíonadh Ioncaim Teaghlaigh dár gclann – beirt pháistí. Nílimid cinnte cén ioncam atá curtha san áireamh sa tástáil mhaoine don íocaíocht.  Mar shampla, an mbeidh deontas mac léinn mo mhná céile curtha san áireamh?

Freagra

Íocaíocht sheachtainiúil saor ó cháin é an Forlíonadh Ioncam Teaghlaigh (FIT) atá ar fáil do theaghlaigh, teaghlach le tuismitheoir amháin san áireamh, ag obair ar phá íseal.  Cuitear san áireamh ioncam iomlán an lánúin (pósta, i bpáirtíocht shibhialta nó ag comhchónaí) san áireamh agus do mhaoin á mheas don FIT.  Meastar aon ioncam ó acmhainn ar bith, deontas mac léinn san áireamh, sa tástáil mhaoine.  Mar sin féin, níl na híocaíochtaí seo a leanas curtha san áireamh mar ioncam teaghlaigh:

Ní mheastar caipitil.  Áirítear leis seo réadmaoin, cuntais bainc agus caranna i do sheilbh.  Mar sin féin, is féidir cuntais bainc a sheiceáil d’acmhainní ioncaim eile agus ioncam ag síolrú ó úsáid cairr i do sheilbh a mheas ( mar shampla, tacsaí).

Is iad na príomhmhíreanna a chuirtear san áireamh mar thuilleamh inrochtana an lánúin  ná, aon ioncam breise tuillte i bhfostaíocht ( cuir i gcás, pá as ragobair, bónais, liúntais nó coimisiún), ioncam as féinfhostaíocht, pinsin cheirde, íocaíochtaí leasa shóisialaigh (seachas iad siúd liostaithe thuas), ioncam ó íocaíochtaí cúramóra nó ioncam cíosa ó áitreabh nó talamh a ligean amach ar cíos.

Landlords and tenants – recent changes

If you are renting from a private landlord or a housing association, your tenancy is covered by the residential tenancies legislation and you can acquire security of tenure under Part 4 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004.

Several new provisions came into effect on 17 January 2017. They include:

  • Extending the tenancy cycle for Part 4 tenancies from 4 years to 6 years
  • Requiring a landlord to give reason when terminating a Further Part 4 tenancy in the first 6 months

They also include restrictions on the sale of 10 or more rented units in a development (the “Tyrrelstown amendments”).

We are currently updating the Renting a home documents on citizensinformation.ie with these recent changes.

Read more on the Residential Tenancies Board’s website.