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Major improvements in State Pension for Long-term Carers - Higgins



8th January 2024


Local Fine Gael TD for Dublin Mid West, Emer Higgins has welcomed the announcement by The Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD, of significant reforms to the State Pension (Contributory) that will benefit thousands of Carers over the coming years.

 

Higgins stated, “From this month, carers can get the equivalent of paid contributions (Long-Term Carer’s Contributions) for periods of over 20 years spent caring for an incapacitated dependent”.

 

“This is the first time in the history of our state that long-term carers have been provided with contributions for gaps in their social insurance record for their State Pension. The inclusion of these individuals and families who have been providing care is a welcome recognition, and I believe it will have a significant impact on many people’s lives”, Higgins stated.

 

Long-Term Carer’s Contributions will enhance State Pension provision for carers who have spent more than 20 years of their lives caring by making it easier for them to qualify for a State Pension (Contributory) when they reach pension age.

 

Commenting on the improvement for Carer’s, Minister Humphreys said: “I am delighted to introduce this measure to ensure that long-term carers of incapacitated dependents are provided with contributions for gaps in their social insurance record. This will enhance State Pension provision for carers who have spent more than 20 years of their lives caring for incapacitated dependents, and help ensure that thousands of people, mainly women, who have spent time caring for their loved ones will now be able to qualify for the State Pension (Contributory).”

 

The Department has been accepting applications from carers to be considered for Long-Term Carers Contributions since 1st September 2023.

 

To date the Department has awarded Long-Term Carers Contributions to over 1,200 Carers and from 1st January 2024, these contributions can be used to help Carers who reach State Pension (Contributory) age to qualify for the State Pension (Contributory), or a higher rate of pension if they already receive one.

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