Will home caring credits get me a full pension?

Government plans to allow up to 20 years’ credits for time taken to care for family

“You will have close to somewhere between 43 and 44 years of social insurance coverage – assuming you do keep working up to 2024.”

“You will have close to somewhere between 43 and 44 years of social insurance coverage – assuming you do keep working up to 2024.”

 

Born in 1957, I will not qualify for a contributory pension until I am 67 in March 2024. I got married straight after college and my children were born in 1980, 1991 and 1995 and I started work once my youngest went to school in 1999. I have been fully employed since that date and have paid 52/53 contributions per year.

Health permitting, I will work until my 67th birthday. Will I be entitled to the full contributory pension?

Ms P.O’C., email

As I mentioned last week, we are, to some extent, still dealing with the unknown here as the legislation has not yet been passed. However, the measures are currently being debated as part of the Social Welfare, Pensions and Civil Registration Bill 2018 so we do know what the Government intends – unless they are amended as they go through the Oireachtas.

Your actual work credits are clear: you have a full PRSI record since you started work in 1999. By 2024, when you are due to hit the State retirement age, you will have 25 years of paid contributions – or slightly less, depending on the date of your entry to the market in 1999 and your planned retirement date in 2024.

You had your first child in 1980. Given that you returned to work in 1999, you spent 19 years as a homemaker, or home carer. As the Government is currently planning to allow up to 20 years of credits for periods out of the workforce taken to care for family, you should qualify in full for this period.

Added to the 24/25 years of paid credits, you will be comfortably over the 40-year threshold required for a full pension. In fact, you will have close to somewhere between 43 and 44 years of social insurance coverage – assuming you do keep working up to 2024.

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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