Challenge Welfare on those missing PRSI payments

Law provides for investigation in cases where contribution records go missing

In cases where contributions are missing from a social insurance record, Welfare will ask for any evidence – payslips, P60s, etc – to show that PRSI payments had been deducted.

In cases where contributions are missing from a social insurance record, Welfare will ask for any evidence – payslips, P60s, etc – to show that PRSI payments had been deducted.

 

I wrote last week that a three-year black hole in PRSI contributions relating to time working for a company that subsequently went into liquidation was likely to be precisely that – a black hole. If Welfare had no record of the contributions, their view was they didn’t exist.

Since then, I have had a couple of correspondents on to me – though, interestingly, none from Welfare itself. And, apparently, all is not lost.

One reader told me how he had rung the department over certain years that appeared to be missing from his social insurance record. The company in question had also gone into liquidation and the contributions related to a period 20 years earlier.

Welfare asked for any evidence – payslips, P60s, etc – to show that PRSI payments had been deducted. Clearly an organised person, the reader was able to produce P60s for the year(s) in question and Welfare amended his record.

A second reader – who previously worked in Welfare – noted that there are provisions in law for an investigation when these circumstances arise and “when satisfied of the facts, the local Social Welfare inspector can allow the missing weeks of PRSI contributions to be credited to her account”.

He noted, correctly, that it is always the employer’s responsibility to deduct and remit the correct PRSI for all employees.

“Provided there is no evidence of collusion between the employer and employee, the employee should never be at a loss of these weeks of PRSI contributions,” he said.

Although, in this case, it should not affect the entitlement of the wife of the original correspondent, Mr J.H., to a full State pension, he has been back in touch again to say that they will be pursuing the case regardless.

Please send your queries to Dominic Coyle, Q&A, The Irish Times, 24-28 Tara Street, Dublin 2, or email dcoyle@irishtimes.com. This column is a reader service and is not intended to replace professional advice

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