Dáil Éireann - Volume 611 - 06 December, 2005
Written Answers. - Pension Provisions.
Mr. Kenny Mr. Kenny
306. Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the cost to date in 2005 paid by the Exchequer following changes in the status of pre-1953 pension qualifying applicants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37617/05]
Mr. Brennan Mr. Brennan
Mr. Brennan: In May 2000, a special half rate old age, contributory, pension was introduced to enable people with pre-1953 insurance, who could not qualify for a payment under normal qualifying conditions, to receive a pension. People already qualifying for pensions at less than half rate could also benefit from the new scheme. In  order to be eligible for the payment, a person requires 260 paid contributions at the appropriate rate, which can comprise a mixture of pre and post-1953 contributions.
There are just over 28,700 pre-1953 pensions in payment with about 67% of these being paid to residents of the UK and other countries. The estimated cost for 2005 is €135 million.
One of the difficulties in estimating costs in this case was that the form in which records relating to pre-1953 contributions were available in the Department of Social and Family Affairs did not allow for ready estimation of the numbers of contributions. Many of the records in question were incomplete and had to be supplemented by separate information obtained when claims were actually made.
Dáil Éireann 611 Written Answers. Pension Provisions.