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Pension increase welcomed but promise must be kept in full

Published 09/03/2017


Age Action has welcomed the €5 increase in the top rate of the Contributory State Pension that will take effect tomorrow.

But the organisation warned that the increase, which brings the top weekly rate to €238.80, is just the first step in restoring the incomes of pensioners.

The National Pensions Framework sets a target for the top rate of the State Pension of 35 per cent of average weekly earnings, which would be around €250.

Even after tomorrow’s increase more investment in the State Pension will be needed in this year’s budget to move us towards achieving that goal. 

Age Action members at an election event in 2016 where they called for an increase in the State Pension.
Age Action members at an election event in 2016 where they called for an increase in the State Pension.

Largest increase in some years

Justin Moran, Head of Advocacy and Communications, said: “Before last year’s election pensioners were promised the State Pension would be increased by €25 over the following five years.

“We welcome the €5 increase, the largest in some time, that will come into effect tomorrow as the first step in delivering on that commitment to Ireland’s more than half a million pensioners.

“More than 85,000 people over the age of 65 are living in deprivation because of rising costs and cuts to income supports. They need a fair State Pension that will enable older people to live with dignity and independence.”

Delayed payment

Age Action acknowledged there was some disappointment among older people that the increase was delayed to the middle of March.

Justin Moran continued: “Delaying the increase to the middle of March frustrated many older people who would otherwise have had an additional €40 to help with fuel costs during some of the coldest months of the year.” 


Call for Voices of Older People to be Heard

Age Action welcomes relaxation of some cocooning measures but criticises lack of consultation with older people.



(1 May) Age Action called for the Government to consult with older people as it plans for the longer-term impacts of Covid-19. To date, public health and Government advice has treated the over 70 age cohort as one. As a single age cohort people over the age of 70 have been subject to public health measures but not enabled to participate in the decision-making process that would ensure that their lived experience and their self-identified needs informs the outcome.