Dáil Éireann - Volume 653 - 08 May, 2008

Written Answers. - Pension Provisions.

Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the position in relation to the pension payments to a particular sector (details supplied); and the reason her Department will not issue pension payments in this regard. [17149/08]

  Deputy Mary Hanafin: The Department operates two main types of pension scheme; contributory and non-contributory payments. Contributory [1189] payments are paid on the basis of social insurance contributions made over a person’s working life. Missionaries who have made sufficient social insurance contributions can qualify for the state pension (contributory). These pensions are payable abroad and so missionaries who qualify, and who live or work abroad, can receive a payment.

Non-contributory pensions are only payable where a person is resident in this country and those applying for such pensions must also satisfy the habitual residency condition (HRC). Accordingly, missionaries who reside abroad cannot receive a non-contributory pension. However, those who retire here permanently are generally deemed to satisfy the HRC and will, subject to satisfying a means test, qualify for a payment.