Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Employment Affairs & Social Protection Willie O’Dea has called on Minister Regina Doherty to clarify when those who are entitled an increased rate of contributory pension will be paid.

O’Dea made the call after a number of affected pensioners contacted him to voice their concerns that they will not receive money owed to them in the first quarter of 2019.

“In 2012 Fine Gael introduced changes to the band rates for entitlement to the State pension which resulted in thousands of people – and women in particular – receiving a lower pension. In some instances people lost in the region of €30 per week or €1,500 a year, which is a significant sum of money for most people, but more so for people who are solely reliant on the State pension”, said Deputy O’Dea.

“Fianna Fáil campaigned to have these changes reversed and after significant pressure from us the Government eventually set about partially addressing these anomalies.

“We were told by the Employment Affairs & Social Protection Minister that payments under this new model would begin in early 2019. However I have been contacted by a number of worried pensioners who are concerned that it will be months before they receive their new rate of contributory pension.

“Moreover, pensioners are supposed to submit additional information online but are reporting significant difficulties with the online system.  As far as I am aware no forms are available for people who need to or want to submit information in writing as opposed to online.

“I am calling on the Minister to provide clarity on when payments will be made and to also ensure that the process is as straight forward as possible. Pensioners have waited long enough to receive what they are entitled to and should not be subject to further delays”, concluded Deputy O’Dea.