Social Protection | Provisions for retirees at 65 years of age
To ask the Minister for Social Protection the extent to which satisfactory provision has been made for those retiring at 65 years of age; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
Benefit Payment for 65 Year Olds was introduced in line with the Programme for Government commitment to address the position of people who are required to or choose to retire at age 65 before the pension age of 66. The payment is provided for under Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Benefit (Self-Employed) legislation as appropriate. There were just over 4,000 people receiving this support at the end of December 2022.
A key feature of the payment is that recipients do not have to sign on or partake in activation measures or to be available for and genuinely seeking work to avail of it. Unlike other Jobseeker’s Benefit customers, who are paid at a graduated rate according to their previous earnings, recipients of this payment are paid at the maximum personal rate of Jobseeker’s Benefit. The personal rate has increased from €208 to €220 as part of Budget 2023.
I have recently signed a Regulation to provide that self-employed contributors who have recently retired from their usual self-employed occupation, and who are in receipt of an Approved Retirement Fund, may also be eligible for Jobseekers Benefit (Self-Employed).
Where a person does not qualify for Benefit Payment for 65 Year Olds they may be eligible for support under the means tested Jobseeker’s Allowance scheme subject to satisfying the qualifying conditions for that scheme.
I trust this clarifies the position for the Deputy.
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