Whether you qualify for the the State Pension (contributory) depends on a minimum number of PRSI contributions paid during your working life, and a minimum yearly average paid/credited contributions. This entitlement is not means-tested.
The yearly average determines the rate of payment when you reach retirement. For example a minimum average of 48 (weekly) PRSI contributions is required to qualify for the maximum weekly pension payment of €233.30 currently applicable. That weekly payment is reduced to just €93.20 if your yearly average totals 10-14 PRSI contributions.
To protect your entitlement to the State Pension (contributory) you can chose to make voluntary PRSI contributions. Until now, you had to start making voluntary contributions within one year of leaving work. The Department of Social Protection has changed this rule, allowing for a period of up to five years to decide to make voluntary contributions.
This provides an opportunity to protect entitlements for people who take a career break, early retirement or self employed people who may have temporarily stopped making PRSI contributions.
Full details of the new rule from the Department of Social Protection can be found by clicking here
Independent Financial Adviser.
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