The first reviews for pensioners who received less than the maximum rate of pension on post Budget 2012 rate-bands have been adjusted with the vast majority benefiting, a Fine Gael Candidate, Cllr. Emer Higgins, has said. Higgins said: “At the end of February 1,138 reviews were completed and from this 86% (978) have resulted in an increase in their payment and 14% will continue on their existing payment. Reviews will continue to be processed until all identified pensioners receive a review outcome in writing.

“The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty has recently visited Clondalkin, Lucan and Baldonnell and confirmed to us that her department is currently examining the pension payments of approximately 90,000 pensioners nationwide who reached pension age on or after the 1st September 2012. “I am pleased to see that the first decisions have begun issuing to pensioners since I signed the necessary regulations to allow the increased payments to be made on foot of the reviews. This review will benefit many pensioners and even where pension rates do not increase, and no one will be worse off. These payments are being reviewed under a new Total Contributions Approach (TCA) to pension calculation which includes provision for home caring periods. The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has already written to these pensioners to explain the process,” explained Cllr. Emer Higgins.

Speaking about the matter Minister Regina Doherty said: “Where due, increased payments will be made without delay and will include arrears of pension back to the 30th March 2018, or the pensioner’s 66th birthday if later than that.  Where pension rates do not increase as a result of this review, they will continue to be paid at their existing rate of entitlement.”