A new benefit payment has been announced today for people in the year between retirement and qualifying for the State pension.
The new “Benefit Payment for 65 year olds” will apply to people aged between 65 and 66 who have retired but are not yet eligible for their pension. Prior to this, people had to sign on for Jobseeker’s Payments for the year.
The new benefit will be paid at the same rate as the maximum Jobseeker’s Benefit rate – €203 per week, with an increase for dependants, if eligible.
The biggest change is that the person in receipt of this payment will not be required to be available for full-time work or genuinely seeking work and they will not be required to sign on the Live Register.
Recipients are exempt from participating in Activation unless they choose to engage and can also participate in a course of education while retaining their full payment entitlement.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD said:
“For many people, due to their contract of employment, retiring at the age of 65 is their only option.
“These are people who have been working all their lives and, for many, finding new employment can be difficult.
“As Minister I want to be able to provide them with some certainty and peace of mind.
“That’s why I’m rolling out the ‘Benefit Payment for 65 Year Olds’ which reflects a key commitment in the Programme for Government.
“There is now no situation whereby somebody has to ‘sign on’ or go on the Live Register: This is a specific payment targeted at people in the year leading up to when they reach pension age.
“There are various other issues in relation to the State Pension that are being examined by the independent Commission on Pensions, which is due to make recommendations to me in the summer.
“In the meantime, I’m pleased to give clarity today to those aged 65 or approaching the age of 65 and I’m encouraging people to apply for this payment via www.MyWelfare.ie.”
Aside from the online application method via www.MyWelfare.ie, individuals can email email@example.com to request a paper application and it will be posted to them – however, this will take longer than applying online.
Applications can only be made when a person reaches 65 years of age. This payment will continue until the person reaches pension age provided they continue to meet the eligibility conditions.