Call us 01 475 6989 | Email info@ageaction.ie

You are here

The time spent caring for family is not only ignored - it actually hurts your retirement

John Church
Written by: John Church
CEO
12/10/2017

SHARE THIS

Yesterday’s budget did very little for tens of thousands of pensioners losing as much as €1,500 a year for taking time out of the workforce to care for their families. They won’t even get the five euro they read about in yesterday’s paper.

Orla O’Connor of the National Women’s Council, Marie O’Toole of the Irish Countywomen’s Association and Lorraine Fitzsimons of Age Action urging support for our petition for a fair State Pension.

This is because the previous Government changed the eligibility criteria for the Contributory State Pension in 2012. While those entitled to a full pension were unaffected, those who would have been in line for smaller pensions lost out.

Not everyone gets the full State Pension because not everyone has a full record of PRSI contributions. Many pensioners, mostly women, left the workforce to care for their families. Others were forced out by the marriage bar.

They’re still entitled to a pension, but a smaller one, and in 2012 it was made smaller again.

Under the old system, if you had an average of 20 contributions, for example, you would have been entitled to €228.70. But after 2012, this dropped to €198.60, a cut of more of more than thirty euro each week.

Mean and sneaky

As one of our members put it, this was a ‘mean and sneaky cut’. It cut the pensions of those who would have been getting smaller pensions anyway and it has helped to widen an already large gender pension gap in Ireland.

The situation is made worse by the ‘averaging rule’ used to calculate your pension.

The number of PRSI contributions a worker makes is divided by the number of years between her first day of work and her retirement.

For example, take someone who worked for a few months in 1968 and then left to raise a family. During her time away from work she would not have made any PRSI contributions. She goes back to work in 2000 and retires in 2016.

Her total number of contributions are divided by 48, from when she started work in 1968, and as a result she gets a much smaller pension. Her time caring for her family is not only ignored, it actually reduces her pension.

If she had not gone to work in 1968 she would have been entitled to a full State Pension. People are being punished because they went to work in the 60s and 70s.

And because the five euro is only for people on the top rate of the State Pension, these pensioners only get a portion of that increase so they lose out every single year. 

5,000 voices ignored

We need a fair pension system in Ireland that values the contributions made by our carers – men and women. The Homemaker’s Scheme, introduced in 1994, needs to be backdated so that those who provided care before then can benefit. We must introduce measures that addresses the gender pension gap.

We know all of that cannot be done in a single budget. We know that will take time. But we also know the changes brought in five years ago could have been reversed yesterday.

Last week Age Action delivered 5,000 signatures to Minister Regina Doherty collected by our members and by our colleagues in the Irish Countrywomen’s Association and the National Women’s Council of Ireland.

Each one of these signatures was a voice raised on behalf of these pensioners.

Each of them was calling for a fair State Pension system, one that does not punish those whose contribution to our society was raising a family or caring for a loved one.

Each asked for the changes introduced in 2012 to be reversed.

Yesterday, every single one of them was ignored, so we’re asking Minister Donohoe again to give these pensioners a fair deal and to reverse a mean and sneaky cut. 

SHARE THIS

Comments

I would like to add my name to the list of signatures. It is unfair and discriminatory that our pensions are not equitable just because we stayed home to rear our children. Keep up the fight for equality.

As 5,000 signatures were ignored by the Government and their mean & sneaky cuts in 2012 not reversed,its time all these women & some men who are affected(thousands and thousands) remember these politicians @ next General Election(do not vote),If all affected marched on Leinster House,it might make them sit up and listen.The Gov. could find money to bail out bankers and pay out big money to sort the Water fiasco.

As 5,000 signatures were ignored by the Government and their mean & sneaky cuts in 2012 not reversed,its time all these women & some men who are affected(thousands and thousands) remember these politicians @ next General Election(do not vote),If all affected marched on Leinster House,it might make them sit up and listen.The Gov. could find money to bail out bankers and pay out big money to sort the Water fiasco.

The discriminatory aspect is that homemakers before 1994 are not receiving credit.
Homemaking before 1994 must also be granted credit. The tax system must be fair and equitable.
Although I have paid more PRSI contributions , friends who only returned to homemaking after 1994 can expect the full pension. So, the more you have paid in to the system, under this rule, the less you get out.

The discriminatory aspect is that homemakers before 1994 are not receiving credit.
Homemaking before 1994 must also be granted credit. The tax system must be fair and equitable.
Although I have paid more PRSI contributions , friends who only returned to homemaking after 1994 can expect the full pension. So, the more you have paid in to the system, under this rule, the less you get out.

They did not make this discriminatory change over a period of time they did it in one fell swoop in 2012 so they can easily reverse it in one swoop also. If a person never worked until age 56 and then gets a job for the 10 years prior to drawing their pension at 66 they are entitled to a full Contributory Pension however if a person worked for 37 years in total having taken some years out to look after family they will receive a smaller pension - how is that fair and equitable?

Dont vote for those politicians. 35,000 is a lot of votes for any party to loose. Im not voting for them.

A full blown campaign to reverse the 2012 rule is the only way to address this using every means possible---the media, social media and physical marches. We have power and we must use it. How about it?

I have contacted all the T.Ds in my area asking them to ask Minister Regina Doherty to reverse the cuts in 2012 and introduce a fair pension. I would advise other people afected to do so immediately.

I think is unfair and discriminatory that our pensions are not equitable just because we stayed home to rear our children. In the late 60’s and went I got married we were told that our husbands could look after us as we would be taking the jobs from school leavers. The discriminatory aspect is that homemakers before 1994 are not receiving credit.
Homemaking before 1994 must also be granted credit. The tax system must be fair and equitable.
They did not make this discriminatory change over a period of time they did it in one fell swoop in 2012 so they can easily reverse it in one swoop also. A full blown campaign to reverse the 2012 rule is the only way to address this using the media, social media and physical marches. We have power and we can and should use it!.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Top tips for staying cool

  • Keep out of the heat. Stay inside during the hottest time of the day – late morning to mid-afternoon. If you do go out, wear a hat and keep to the shade as much as possible. It’s very important to use sun screen of at least factor 15.
  • If you are travelling by car or public transport always take a bottle of water.
  • Avoid strenuous activity and limit activities like housework and gardening to the early morning or evening when it’s cooler.
  • When inside, try to stay in the coolest parts of your home. Keep curtains and blinds closed in rooms that catch the sun. Remember that lights generate heat. Keep windows shut while it’s cooler inside than out and open them when it gets hotter inside. If it’s safe, you could leave a window open at night when it’s cooler. Fans can help sweat evaporate but do not cool the air itself.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-coloured cotton clothing.
  • Take cool baths or showers.
  • Splash your face with cold water or place a damp cloth or scarf on the back of your neck to help you cool off.
  • Drink lots of fluid – even if you’re not thirsty. Limit drinks with caffeine (like coffee and cola) and avoid alcohol as it can increase dehydration.
  • Eat normally but try to have more cold foods, particularly salads and fruit as they contain a lot of water.

Dehydration and overheating

Extreme heat and humidity can cause you to dehydrate and your body to overheat. Watch out for certain signs: particularly for muscle cramps in your arms, legs or stomach, mild confusion, weakness or sleep problems. If you have any of these, rest in a cool place and drink plenty of fluids. Seek medical advice if your symptoms persist or worsen.

Heat exhaustion and heatstroke

The symptoms of heat exhaustion include headaches, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, pale skin, heavy sweating and a high temperature.

If you have any of these symptoms you must:

  • find a cool place and loosen tight clothes
  • drink plenty of water or fruit juice
  • sponge yourself with cold water or have a cool shower.

If you’re having difficulty, or your symptoms persist for several hours, seek medical advice. Heatstroke can develop if heat exhaustion is left untreated - but it can also develop suddenly and without warning. The symptoms of heatstroke include hot and red skin, headaches, nausea, intense thirst, raised temperature, confusion, aggression and loss of consciousness. Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition.

So if you or someone else shows symptoms:

  • call 999 immediately or 112 if you are in the European Union (you can call 112 from a mobile for free). If you have a community or personal alarm press the button on your pendant to call for help.
  • while waiting for the ambulance, follow the advice given above for heat exhaustion but do not try to give fluids to anyone who is unconscious.

Further information

If you live alone consider asking a relative or friend to visit or phone to check that you are not having difficulties during periods of extreme heat.

  • If you know a neighbour who lives alone, check they are ok.
  •  Check for weather forecasts and temperature warnings on TV and radio, and online at  https://www.met.ie/warnings
  • If you have breathing problems or a heart condition your symptoms might get worse when it’s very hot.
  • For further advice about heat-related illness contact your GP.

Summer Raffle Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our Summer Raffle. We're so grateful to everyone who participated and who raised more than 18,000 euro to support older people in Ireland.

This year's winners were:

1st Prize winner €1,500

S Deegan, Dublin

2nd Prize winner €1,000

A Parks, Dublin

3rd Prize winner €500

M Dangerfield, Dublin

And the winner of our Sellers Prize was:

Sellers Prize €100

M Kane, Galway, €100

Thank you to all who supported the raffle, this is one of our biggest and most reliable fundraisers, so your support makes all the difference.

 


Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /app/public/includes/common.inc:2777) in /app/public/includes/bootstrap.inc on line 1486

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /app/public/includes/common.inc:2777) in /app/public/includes/bootstrap.inc on line 1490

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /app/public/includes/common.inc:2777) in /app/public/includes/bootstrap.inc on line 1490

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /app/public/includes/common.inc:2777) in /app/public/includes/bootstrap.inc on line 1490
The time spent caring for family is not only ignored - it actually hurts your retirement | Age Action

Error

The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later.