Know your rights: Retiring at 65 and social welfare payments

I have to retire at 65, and can’t claim my State pension until I’m 66. What can I do?

Many people, under their contract of employment, must retire at 65. However, State pensions are not paid until you are 66.

If you retire at 65, you may be able to get a new social welfare benefit. This is paid until you reach 66 and can claim a State pension. It is similar to Jobseeker’s Benefit, but you don’t need to be looking for work or sign on at your local Intreo centre. It is only available to people aged 65.

To qualify for this benefit, you must have stopped work, be living in Ireland and meet the social insurance (PRSI) conditions.

If you were an employee, you must have paid at least 39 PRSI contributions at Class A, H or P or have credited contributions in the governing contribution year – this is the second last complete tax year before the year you claim.  You must also have paid at least 104 PRSI contributions at Class A, H or P (or at least 156 PRSI contributions at Class S).

If you were self-employed, you must have paid 52 PRSI self-employment contributions at Class S in the governing contribution year and have paid at least 156 PRSI contributions at Class S (or at least 104 PRSI contributions at Class A or H).

You can take up a course provided you inform the Department of Social Protection. You can also continue in subsidiary employment.

You can claim for an adult dependant and any dependent children.

You will continue to get credited contributions while you are on the payment – these can count towards your State pension.

The quickest way to apply for the scheme is through You can also email to get a paper application posted to you. 

You can read more about this new payment for people who retire at 65 on

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