Credited Contributions for State Pensions

6 February 2018

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For Written Answer on : 06/02/2018 

Question Number(s): 597 Question Reference(s): 5846/18 

Department: Employment Affairs and Social Protection 

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QUESTION

To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the differences that exist between long term unemployment and long term disability payments in relation to opting for credits to count towards a person's State pension; and if she will make a statement on the matter. 

- Brendan Ryan. 

* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 6th February, 2018. 

 

REPLY 

 

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Regina Doherty T.D.): 

The purpose of credited contributions or “credits” is to protect social insurance entitlements by bridging gaps in an employee’s social insurance record, where they are not in a position to pay PRSI, such as for period of unemployment or illness. Therefore in general credits can only be awarded where an individual has had a recent attachment to the workforce i.e. within the last 2 years. 

In isolation, credits do not give entitlement to social insurance benefits. In combination with paid PRSI contributions, credits can assist employees qualifying for short-term schemes such as jobseeker’s benefit. Credits may also enhance the level of benefit for long-term schemes such as the level of payment of State pension contributory (SPC), but only where the individual has already met the condition relating to the minimum number of paid contributions. 

To qualify for credits an individual must satisfy entitlement to the credits scheme. Once an individual has established entitlement to credits either through long-term unemployment or long-term disability the credit has the same value for both payment types.