Thousands set for pension increase as new system aims to correct 2012 anomaly

Pensioners will not be reimbursed for underpayment between 2012 and March 2018

Thousands set for pension increase as new system aims to correct 2012 anomaly

Picture by: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/PA Images

The Social Protection Minister has announced changes to the pensions system that should see 30,000 retired people see a rise in their payments.

It is aimed at closing a loophole brought by the Fine Gael-Labour coalition back in 2012 - which saw 40,000 pensioners losing out on around €1,500 a year.

Those affected were largely mothers who had been out of the workforce to raise children.

A new homecare credit announced today will allow people to get their full state pension - provided they have stayed at home for up to 20 years before returning to the workforce.

The new system will come into force on March 30th - however, any arrears will only apply from that date and not from 2012 when the anomaly was introduced.

The first payments at the higher rates are due in the first quarter of next year.

Speaking in the Dáil, Minister Regina Doherty confirmed pensioners will not get back the money they lost out on over the past 5 years:

"They are not getting back-payments, just to be very, very clear," she said.

"They will be getting arrears off the back of new legislation that we will be introducing which will bring this measure into line form the 30th of March this year.

"There is absolutely no consideration for back-payments.

"When a new law is passed, it can't be retrospective and that new law is going to come into effect from the 13th of March this year."

People who are found to be entitled to less under the new system have been assured they will not see their pension reduced.

Reporting from Sean Defoe ...