Dáil Éireann - Volume 386 - 26 January, 1989
Written Answers. - Pension Entitlement Conditions.
Miss Kennedy Miss Kennedy
28. Miss Kennedy asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he is examining the possibility of allowing the 30,000 farmers to top up their PRSI payments to allow them to buy the extra number of years required to be eligible for the old age contributory pension at the age of 66; if so, if he will allow the mixed insurance group on pro rata pensions to top up their contributions for eligibility.
Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods) Michael J. Woods
Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): The present contribution conditions for entitlement to the old age contributory pension have applied since the scheme was introduced in 1961. One  of these conditions requires that to be eligible for the old age pension, a person must have entered social insurance at least ten years before pension age. Persons who become insured for the first time after age 56 cannot satisfy this condition. The possibility of modifying the condition to enable those affected to qualify for pensions was examined in detail by my Department when social insurance was being extended to the self-employed, including farmers. Following consideration of a number of possible options, including that of giving those affected the option of purchasing the extra number of years required, it was found that the net cost would be prohibitive and financing it would be a major burden on those contributing. The same considerations would apply in the case of those with “mixed insurance”.
The present contribution conditions for entitlement to pensions are being examined by the National Pensions Board and they will be reporting to me on this and other issues in their final report which it is expected will be completed before the end of the year. The problems of the mixed insurance group will be considered in the context of the board's proposals.
Dáil Éireann 386 Written Answers. Pension Entitlement Conditions.