Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Employment Affairs and Social Protection Willie O’Dea TD has said that almost 86,000 of pensioners are awaiting a decision on their entitlement to an increase in the State Contributory Pension.  A review is currently being conducted in relation to post Budget 2012 band rates.

O’Dea made his comments following a reply to a Parliamentary Question which revealed that as of 8th March 2019 only 4,254 reviews out of approximately 90,000 had been completed.  That’s less than 4%.

Deputy O’Dea said, “‘Fianna Fáil pushed very hard for the government to address the anomalies in relation to the Contributory Pension that arose after punitive changes were introduced by Fine Gael and Labour in 2012. These changes resulted in thousands of people being denied their entitlement to a full state pension.

“Whilst I am of course glad that reviews are underway and that a number of pensioners have received their revised payment I am dismayed by the slow pace of the review process.

“The Minister did acknowledge in her reply to me that it will take a number of months to complete all reviews and that additional staff have been hired. However, given that this review was announced in January 2018, some pensioners may end up waiting up to two years before a decision is finalised on their entitlement to an increase in the State Contributory pension, and this is deeply unsatisfactory.

“Thousands of pensioners have been denied their entitlement to a full state Contributory Pension for years; they should not be subject to further delays. I am therefore calling on Minister Doherty to ensure that the process is as straight forward and transparent as possible and that reviews are being conducted in an efficient manner”.