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State Pension (Contributory)

From: Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

What the State Pension (Contributory) is

State Pension (Contributory) is a payment which you may qualify for when you reach a certain age.

The age at which you can receive the State Pension (Contributory) is laid out below.

    Year you were born Minimum qualifying age for State Pension (Contributory)
    Born between 1 January 1949 and 31 December 1954 The minimum age you can qualify for a State Pension (Contributory) will be 66
    Born between 1 January 1955 and 31 December 1960 The minimum age you can qualify for a State Pension (Contributory) will be 67
    Born on or after 1 January 1961 The minimum age you can qualify for a State Pension (Contributory) will be 68

This pension is based on your social insurance (PRSI) contributions. It is not means tested, so payment you receive is not affected by other income you may have, such as an occupational pension.

If you qualify for this pension, you can continue to work full-time after you reach the qualifying age.

How to qualify

To qualify for the State Pension (Contributory), you must meet both of the following conditions:

  • you must have entered insurable employment before you turn 56 years old
  • you must have at least 520 full-rate social insurance (PRSI) contributions paid since entering into insurable employment. (If you turned 66 before 6 April 2012, you need 260 paid full-rate contributions)

There are two rates of pension, maximum and reduced, for which you must have either of the below:

For a maximum rate pension

You must have a yearly average of 48 paid and or credited social insurance (PRSI) contributions from 1979 or from your date of entry into insurable employment to the end of the last complete tax year before your 66th birthday.

For a reduced rate pension

You must have a yearly average of at least 10 paid and or credited social insurance (PRSI) contributions from 1953 or from your date of entry into insurable employment (whichever is the later), to the end of the tax year before your 66th birthday.

The department will assess your entitlement to State Pension (Contributory) based on the conditions that apply on the date you reach pension age.

Self-employed contributions

Self-employed rate social insurance (PRSI) contributions are contributions at Class S. These contributions are counted as full-rate contributions for State Pension (Contributory) purposes. Social insurance (PRSI) contributions for self-employed people were introduced on 6 April 1988.

If you were self-employed and started paying Class S contributions on 6 April 1988, the department may work out your entitlement to State Pension (Contributory) based on your social insurance (PRSI) record from that date.

The department will do this if it works out better for you when calculating your entitlement and you satisfy the other conditions for State Pension (Contributory).

If you started paying Class S social insurance (PRSI) contributions after 6 April 1988, the department will work out your entitlement from the date your first contribution was paid (the date you first entered insurable employment).

Social insurance (PRSI) record

You can request a copy of your social insurance (PRSI) record online at MyWelfare.ie

To access services on MyWelfare.ie, you need a verified MyGovID account.

Social insurance (PRSI) paid in another country

You can use any social insurance (PRSI) contributions you may have paid in a country covered by EC Regulations, or a country with which Ireland has a bilateral Social Security Agreement to satisfy the 520 (260) paid contributions requirement for a pro rata pension (a proportionate pension).

If you live or intend to live outside the State

If you live or plan to live outside the State, the department can pay your pension directly to your account in a financial institution in Ireland or in the country you choose to live in.

Rates of payment

Your rate of payment will depend on your social insurance (PRSI) contributions. It is made up of a personal rate plus any increase or allowances which you may be due.

There are increases or allowances for:

From 1 September 2012, the rate of pension depends on your yearly average number of social insurance (PRSI) contributions. The table below shows the maximum personal weekly rate of payment a person can receive.

    Yearly contribution average Rate of weekly payment from March 2019
    48 or more €248.30 (aged 66 and under 80) €258.30 (aged 80 and over)

Apply

It is recommended to apply for the State Pension (Contributory) three months before you turn 66.

To apply, please fill in the application form at the bottom of this page.

You can also get this form from your local:

Please send your completed form and supporting documentation to:

State Pension (Contributory)

Address:
Social Welfare Services, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, College Road, Sligo, F91 T384

SPC1 Application Form

Application form for State Pension (Contributory).

Download

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