If you are born on or before 1951, you are already retired and in receipt of a Social Security Pension. The pension income that you receive is calculated as follows:
(a) Yearly average of the best 3 consecutive calendar years within the last 10 consecutive calendar years.
(b) You paid social security contributions of 10% on your basic wage to a Maximum Pensionable Income of €17,933 and an annual increase of the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) awarded annually.
(c) If whilst in employment you benefited from a Collective Agreement your Social Security Pension income will be adjusted upwards every time the wage conditions of the grade you held is increased as a result of a Collective Agreement Adjustment. If your work was not covered by a Collective Agreement your pension will increase by the annual COLA awarded by the government.
(d) You retired at the age of 61 years (if you are a woman you may have retired at 60 years of age).
(e) To qualify for a full pension you had to pay a minimum of 50 Social Security contributions annually for a maximum of 30 years.
(f) There is a Guaranteed National Minimum Level (GNML) of Pension in place, which ensures that you are protected against poverty in the event that you did not pay the full contributions you were entitled to pay.
If you are in this category of pensioners, you can continue to work as an employee or self-employed person and still receive the full pension you are entitled to.
If you take up such employment, you will continue to pay your social security contribution until you reach 65. It is important to note that such a contribution is not assigned to your contribution history but will be posted as an inter-generational contribution on your part.
The 2015 reforms to the pension system were the first reforms which included current pensioners.
As a result of these reforms, the Government sought to increase the pension income of pensioners born on and after 1651 who were on the lower end of the income scale to protect them against the risk of poverty.
The 2007 reforms of the pension system had proposed that there should be no negative changes to the pension of persons who would be 55 years and over; that is; being born after 1951. This recommendation was based on the principle of social justice: that it is unethical to change a persons conditions to qualify for a pension when that person is on the threshold of his or her retiremen. For this purpose, such persons are termed as “Exempt”.