Brid Smith has tabled amendments to the Social Welfare Act that could end discrimination against many pensioners who are recently retired but find their pension a lot loss than they expected.
Under new guidelines introduced in 2012, the criteria for reaching the maximum payable contributory pension was altered.
Instead of getting the maximum contributory pension of 233 euros this year, many pensioners especially woman find themselves on lower rates. These woman may have worked for decades before retiring in recent years. But the changes mean that year out of the workforce before 1994 are not taken into account in accessing the rate of their contributory pension,
Brid’s proposed amendment seeks to insure any period spent looking after children and raising a family is taken into account when assessing the contributory pension entitlement.
Deputy Smith said ” It is outrageous that many woman who took time out of the workforce before 1994 could face effectively been penalised. My amendment would insure that such cases are treated no differently to woman after 1994. This is clear discrimination that the Government cannot stand over”
Because many of these woman entered the workforce early in life, their average contributions may not be enough to receive the maximum pension when years spent raising a family are calculated. After 1994 up to 20 years can be discounted under the Homemakers scheme. I am seeking to have that right extended to woman before 1994. This is only just “