Pension entitlements

 

Sir, – The restoration of full pension entitlements to those negatively and unwittingly affected by the 2012 introduction of “lifetime averaging” for pension contributions is to be welcomed.

New proposals set a minimum threshold of 30 years of full contributions across their working life for an individual to qualify for a full-rate contributory pension. In a family situation, both partners must individually reach this threshold in order for each to qualify for the state pension.

In our society it is not uncommon for one partner, the “bread-winner” to have as many as 40 or even 50 years of contributions while the “homemaker” could have as few as 10 or 15 years of contributions. Yet both will have contributed equally to society.

A major improvement to the proposed future scheme would be to allow married couples to combine and share their lifetime contributions before determining the eligibility of each individual to pension entitlements. Both partners, where they share a combined 60 years of contributions, would be entitled to a full-rate pension.

Such a change would be positive for both families and society and would go some way to reversing the negative and damaging “tax individualisation” policy introduced by a previous government in 2000. – Yours, etc,

FINTAN REDDY,

Castleknock,

Dublin 15.