State Pension

What is the State Pension (Contributory)?

The Contributory State Pension is a state benefit paid to people who have made enough PRSI contributions throughout their working life. It is currently paid from the age of 66 (although this is due to increase to 68 in 2028). It is often referred to the old age pension.

This pension is not means tested, so is available to anyone who qualifies regardless of any other income they have such as private pensions or part time work. The current state pension (from January 2022) is €253.30 per week. The pension is taxable but you are unlikely to pay tax if the State Pension is your only source of income.

If you retire at 65, you may also qualify for a benefit payment for the year until the State Pension commences at 66. In order to qualify for this payment at 65, you have to have ceased working.

How do you qualify for the State Pension (Contributory)

You need to be:

  • Aged 66 or over.
  • Started paying PRSI before the age of 56.
  • Have paid at least 520 PRSI contributions
  • A yearly average of at least 10 qualifying contributions to get a minimum pension.
  • A yearly average of at least 48 qualifying contributions to get a maximum pension.

State Pension Contributions for Home Carers

If you have gaps in your PRSI records you may still qualify for a contributory pension using the ‘Total Contributions Approach’ (TCA). Using this approach, the rate of the pension you would qualify for is based on the total number of contributions you have made over your lifetime until the age of 66.

Up to 20 years of homemaking and caring duties can be used as qualifying years. You would qualify for the maximum rate of State Pension (Contributory) if you have 2080 or more contributions (or 40 years of employment – including up to 20 years home caring). If you have less than the 2080 contributions required for a full pension, you could still qualify for a high proportion of the pension if you have a number of years in the workforce.

State Pension Contributions for the Self Employed

PRSI was introduced for Self Employed people in April 1988. If you had paid employee PRSI prior to this date, you can either choose the date when you first paid employee PRSI or April 1988, whichever gives you a higher pension. Typically speaking, if you worked full time as a self employed person for the 10 years prior to retirement, you should qualify for a full contributory State Pension.

How much is the State Pension (Contributory)?

Yearly Average PRSI contributionsPersonal Rate (per week)Increase for a qualified adult* (under 66)Increase for a qualified adult* (over 66)
48 or over€253.30€167.70€227
40-47€248.30€160.60€215.70
30-39€227.70€152.80€204.50
20-29€215.70€142.90€192.50
15-19€165.10€110€147.40
10-14€101.20€67€91.30
* Increases for qualified adults are means-tested payments

Additional Benefits

  • €10 per week increase from the age of 80 years old.
  • People wo live alone may be entitled to the Living Alone Increase.
  • You may also be eligible for additional benefits such as medical cards, the Household Benefits Package and Fuel Allowance.

How to apply for a State Pension (Contributory)

  • Apply for your social insurance record through MyWelfare.ie. You will need your PPS Number.
  • Apply for the State Pension: get your application form from your local post office, Social Welfare branch or Intreo branch.

When to apply for the State Pension (Contributory)

You should apply 3 months before your 66 birthday or 6 months before if you paid social insurance contributions in more than one country.

In addition, if you have any personal pensions, PRSA or company pensions (either from your current or previous employer), you should get advice about retirement options at least 3 months before your 65th birthday. There are some smart tax strategies that you can avail of prior to retirement that can make a big difference. Click here for more details.

What is the Non Contributory State Pension

The Non Contributory State Pension is a means tested payment for people over the age of 66 who do not qualify for the Contributory State Pension or who only qualify for a reduced pension.

To qualify, you must:

  • Be 66 or older
  • Pass a means test
  • You are residing in Ireland and have a proven close link to the state.

Contact Numbers

State pension: If you have any questions about your state pension/ old age pension/ contributory/ non-contributory pension, please contact:

Department of Social Protection

College Road, Sligo, F91 T384

Tel: (071) 915 7100 / 0818 200 400

Website: www.gov.ie/en/category/social-welfare/

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Irish Pensions

Parkside 11, Mulhuddart, Dublin 15.

(01) 8570655