Delays In Remedying Pension Payments Unacceptable


Fianna Fáil TD, Darragh O’Brien has said that, while the Government’s recent announcement on a new Home Caring credit for calculating pensions is welcome, there are still a number of issues that need to be clarified by Minister for Social Protection, Regina Doherty.

The Total Contributions Approach will see all contributions over a person’s full career included when calculating their pension entitlements.

 O’Brien said: “I and my Fianna Fáil colleagues trenchantly opposed the changes made to State Contributory Pension by Fine Gael and Labour in 2012.

“This decision was also made against the background of the blatant and crude raid on the private pension funds of hundreds of thousands of people to the tune of more than €2.4 billion.

“The Government’s decision resulted in some instances of people losing in the region of €30 per week, which is €1,500 per annum; a significant sum of money for most people, especially those who were solely dependent on the State pension.

“While the Government’s recent u-turn is welcome, there are still a lot of unanswered questions about how it will actually be rolled out. Minister Doherty’s refusal to rule out a full reversal of the 2012 changes is disappointing.

“While the Total Contributions Approach (TCA) combined with the new Home Caring credit is a step in the right direction, it falls well short of a complete solution.

“The fact that payments will not be made until next year is in itself is a major issue. Pensioners across the North County have been waiting long enough for their entitlements, and now they’ll have to wait another year before they start receiving their payments.

“The pension’s anomaly has to be addressed but it must be addressed for all of those who are affected and not just for the portion of people identified by the Minister. I remain very concerned that many men affected by the 2012 changes may not benefit all those affected.

“I, along with my Fianna Fáil colleagues will continue to raise this issue with the Minister and the Government until it is satisfactorily resolved,” concluded O’Brien.