State pension for home carer

Familyman77

Registered User
Messages
27
Looking for advice for my wife's future state pension. She was working prior to our sons birth in 2012 but since then has remained off work to care for him ( He has autism and there are a lot of appointments etc which made work very difficult ) . I'm wondering now about her state pension in the future and if she will be able to get one. She was receiving carers benefit for a while but once it changed to carers allowance she received zero as it was means tested.
 

Familyman77

Registered User
Messages
27
Thanks Redonion. It's not something we need to worry about till the child benefit stops then

Cmalone, will the non contributory pension be assessed against our joint means . I would hope to have 600000 in my pension pot at that stage ( assuming all goes according to plan )
 

cmalone

Frequent Poster
Messages
409
Sorry I’m no expert - but they do assess assets / investments etc - and % reduction of the max pension.
 

lughildanach

Registered User
Messages
23
Looking for advice for my wife's future state pension. She was working prior to our sons birth in 2012 but since then has remained off work to care for him ( He has autism and there are a lot of appointments etc which made work very difficult ) . I'm wondering now about her state pension in the future and if she will be able to get one. She was receiving carers benefit for a while but once it changed to carers allowance she received zero as it was means tested.
Depending on when she reaches pension age, different rules will apply. Periods of caring should be given some recognition under both systems.

Under the old system (which still applies, but will likely be phased out within the next couple of years), periods of providing full-time care are taken out of the calculation, so that your average number of contributions stays the same. See the above link from the other poster about the Homemakers Scheme that applies under the current rules.

Under the new Total Contributions Approach, up to 20 years of Home Caring can count towards building your pension entitlement. See here for details https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/social_welfare/irish_social_welfare_system/social_insurance_prsi/homecaring_periods_scheme.html

Currently, both systems apply, and they will give you the one which is more beneficial. The intention was to move to the Total Contribution Approach for all claims, but this has not happened yet.

As the rules are currently changing and as this is a politically hot issue, you can't guarantee what the rules will be in the future. There shouldn't be an adverse affect of caring under either system, but for an exact calculation on pension entitlement, she should get a copy of her social insurance record and speak to someone who can advise her fully. If pension age is some time away, just be aware that the rules, and people's circumstances change, so any information she gets now will need to be reviewed regularly.
 
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lughildanach

Registered User
Messages
23
You probably are already aware, but if the child is under 16, Domiciliary Care Allowance is still payable, even if Carers Allowance is not. There is no means test on the Domiciliary Care Allowance or the Carers Support Grant (the 1700 paid in June each year).

If you receive the Domiciliary Care Allowance, you automatically receive the Carers Support Grant.

If you receive the Carers Support Grant, you should automatically be registered for the Homemakers Scheme.

Once the child turns 16, the Domiciliary Care Allowance will stop, but you can still receive the Carers Support Grant. However, you will have to apply as it will no longer be automatically paid.
 

lughildanach

Registered User
Messages
23
Thanks Redonion. It's not something we need to worry about till the child benefit stops then

Cmalone, will the non contributory pension be assessed against our joint means . I would hope to have 600000 in my pension pot at that stage ( assuming all goes according to plan )
For the non-contributory pension means of the couple are combined, with each spouse/partner considered to have half of the means each. Any pension income is assessed fully, with no disregards permitted. With a pension pot that size, you could find that any Non-Contributory pension is wiped out.

Of course, if she has enough contributions and home caring periods to qualify for a Contributory pension, that will not be means tested.
 
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