FF to bring motion calling for repeal of 2012 pension changes

Willie O’Dea to bring private member’s motion on pension anomaly to Dáil next week

Social Protection spokesman Willie O’Dea will bring the motion to the House. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Social Protection spokesman Willie O’Dea will bring the motion to the House. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

 

A private member’s motion calling for controversial pension provisions which affect 36,000 people to be repealed will be introduced by Fianna Fáil in the Dáil next week.

Social Protection spokesman Willie O’Dea, who will bring the motion to the House, has called for the correction of the anomaly whereby pensions are averaged out over the number of years worked rather the number of PRSI contributions paid.

This anomaly has mainly affected women who had to leave work due to the marriage ban or to raise children.

Because they left or were forced out of the workplace for a large number of years, they do not have the minimum number of PRSI “stamps” or contributions to qualify for a full State pension.

Mr O’Dea said people who qualified for pensions before or after 2012 should not be treated differently.

“How can someone who pays 520 contributions get a full pension but a person who makes 1,500 payments gets a lesser pension?” he asked.

Mr O’Dea said “Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe described the anomaly as ‘bonkers’ and I agree with him.

“Former minister Joan Burton who introduced it has now reneged on it and said Leo Varadkar can change it.”

Fianna Fáil Public Accounts Committee chairman Seán Fleming said every party agreed it should be corrected and “I can’t contemplate how any side of the House could vote against this motion”.