Retired and older people

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State Pension Age

The Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2011 provided for State pension age increasing gradually to 68 years. This began in January 2014 by standardising State pension age at 66 years. For those born between 1st January 1949 and 31st December 1954 inclusive, the minimum qualifying State Pension age will be 66. If you were born between 1st January 1955 and 31st December 1960 inclusive, the minimum qualifying State pension age will be 67 and if you were born on or after 1st of January 1961 the minimum qualifying State pension age will be 68.

State Pension (Contributory)

State Pension (Contributory) is a social insurance payment made to people age 66 or over who satisfy certain social insurance contribution conditions. The pension (personal rate) is not means-tested or affected by other income you may have such as an occupational pension. This pension is taxable but you are unlikely to pay tax if it is your only income. State Pension (Contributory) was previously known as Old Age Contributory Pension

How to claim an EU Pension from another EEA Country

State Pension (Non-Contributory)

The State Pension (Non-Contributory) is a means-tested payment for people aged 66 or over who do not qualify for State Pension (Contributory) based on their social insurance record. This pension is taxable but you are unlikely to pay tax if it is your only income. State Pension (Non-Contributory) was previously known as Old Age Non-Contributory Pension


People who leave the workforce for periods spent caring can have gaps in their insurance records which can affect their entitlement to a State Pension (Contributory) at age 66. The Homemaker's scheme, introduced in April 1994, allows for periods spent providing full-time care to children up to 12 years of age or an incapacitated person to be taken into account for pension purposes.It does not provide social welfare payments while homemaking.

Home Caring Periods

HomeCaring Periods are part of a measure announced by the Government on 23 January 2018 to make improvements to pension calculations for post September 2012 state pension (contributory) pensioners with social insurance contribution gaps in their record.

For the purposes of the scheme anyone who was born on or after the 1st of September 1946 and spent time out of the workforce for caring duties can apply for a Home Caring Period for use under the new State Pension Contributory Aggregated Calculation Method of pension calculation. For more information on Home Caring Periods click here

For answers to frequently asked question on Home Caring Periods click here

Pre-Retirement Allowance (PRETA)

The Pre-Retirement Allowance (PRETA) is for people in Ireland aged 55 and over who have left the labour force. It is means-tested and you no longer have to sign-on as you do not need to be available for work.
Since 4 July 2007, no new applications for Pre-Retirement Allowance are accepted. However, if you were getting Pre-Retirement Allowance before 4 July 2007 you are not affected and can continue to get it.

Household Benefits

The telephone allowance will be discontinued with effect from the 01/01/14, for frequently asked questions on changes to this allowance please click here.
The Household Benefits Package is made up of two allowances, Electricity or Gas Allowance, and Free Television Licence. These allowances provide contributions towards your electricity or natural gas bills or bottled gas refill and covers the cost of your Television Licence each year. The allowances are applied directly to your bills, where applicable. The package is available to people aged over 70 who are resident in the State and to people under age 70 who are also resident in the State in certain circumstances. Only one person in a household can qualify for the package at any time.

Free Travel

Everyone aged 66 and over living permanently in the State is entitled to the Free Travel Scheme. Some people under 66 also qualify. If you qualify for free travel, you are issued with a card that you must carry with you when using public transport. In some cases, a Free Travel Companion Card is available which allows a person to travel with the holder (if they are unable to travel alone). Free travel passes are non-transferrable and can only be used by the named person.

Last modified:27/03/2019

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