Archive for the ‘Press’ Category

h1

BUDGET 2012 CHANGES TO CONTRIBUTORY PENSION

December 14, 2011

 MEDIA STATEMENT

 

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament welcomes the fact that in Budget 2012 Pensions in payment were maintained at their current rate. However the Parliament is concerned that many members  who are due to receive their pension from September 2012 will be affected by these proposed changes to the contributory rates listed below.

We urge the Minister to consider a more gradual approach to these changes. We also urge all those people who have been in touch with us to make their views and individual concerns/ situations known to the Minister and their elected representatives.

BUDGET 2012 PROPOSED CHANGES State Contributory Pension

Average PRSI Contributions per Year Previous Payment Proposed Payment  Difference
48 or more 40-47 **

30-39**

20-29**

15-19

10-14

 

230.30225.80

225.80

225.80

172.70

115.20

230.30225.80

207

196

150

92

 

Nil Nil

18.80

29.80

22.70

23.20

**Previously this referred to 20-47 contributions

Qualified Adult: at this time we do not have figures

These changes require legislation and are not yet in affect.

 ENDS

 

For further information please contact

Mairead Hayes 086 349 8848

Advertisements
h1

Eligibility may affect you

December 5, 2011

MEDIA RELEASE

Changes to PENSIONS ELIGIBILITY  
 

Effective September 2012 changes to Average PRSI contribution requirements for a State Pensions will result in a new 6 tier payment structure.

Based on today’s rates this will mean lower payments for those who retire from 1st September 2012. The changes as now set out will range from €4.20-€22.70 per week. Taken on their own these cuts will create hardship for many older people especially for those who have broken PRSI records. Many women fall into this category and unless the change is accompanied by a determined effort to look at their unique positions they will badly affected.

Máiréad Hayes, CEO of the ISCP, called on Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D. to examine these proposals which were unveiled for the first time today and to engage in consultation with Older People and their organisations on the matter.

ENDS

for further information contact:                                           

Mairead Hayes                                                                        Tel:   (01) 8561243

Chief Executive Officer                                                         086 349 8848

Irish Senior Citizens Parliament                                5th December  2011

h1

Older Lifelong Learners bring Mental Capital to Society

June 30, 2010

Ena O’Mahoney, Vice-President of the Irish Senior Citizen’s Parliament spoke yesterday at the seminar, ‘Enriching the College Community with Older Lifelong Learners’ in Trinity College. She told her audience of the wealth of ‘mental capital’ accrued by older people in this country and how, if utilised, it could benefit the whole of society.

Vice-President: Ena O'Mahoney

The seminar highlighted the fact that education is a lifelong activity and showed that older learners attending college are as committed to learning as their younger colleagues

Ms O’Mahoney particularly stressed the role that lifelong learning can play in combating social exclusion and loneliness, pointing out that for those who pursued further education as older students:

“There is the chance to enjoy a new sense of community with people who share their interests and passions, providing opportunities for socialising and progression routes to whole new worlds of experience, effectively counteracting what can be a period in life when social contacts decline.”

The ISCP warmly welcomes this initiative taken by Trinity College.

The Parliament also welcomes the presence of Minister for State, Seán Haughey at the seminar as a demonstration of the government’s support to the commitments made in the Social Partnership Agreement, Towards 2016, to maximise adult and community educational opportunities for older people. In particular the Parliament agreed with his statement that ‘Education should also be a means of ensuring greater social contact, exchange of ideas and mutual respect between the generations.’

TCD Vice-Provost/ Chief Academic Officer Prof Patrick Prendergast; Vice President of Irish Senior Citizens Parliament Ena O'Mahoney; Age Action Ireland representative Senator David Norris; Psychology Student Philip Martin Murray; Minister of State with Responsibility for Lifelong Learning Sean Haughey; Lecturer in Adult Nursing Jacinta Kelly and event organiser Jennifer Ryan.

h1

Older People facing serious issues

March 26, 2010

Older People are facing a variety of challenges in their lives today – now more so than ever before – according to the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament.

Voice of the elderly2009 brought Irish people the continuing banking and credit crisis, the Nursing Home Support Scheme, the introduction of the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA), the “Bord Snip Nua” Report, a supplementary Budget as well as Budget 2010, the continuation of the over-70s Medical Card crisis and the withdrawal of the Additional Christmas Payment. There were further threats to cut existing and future pensions and other entitlements as well a promise of further levies.

We face in 2010 the prospect of a Carbon Tax, metered water charges, the introduction of prescription charges and a decrease or abolition in waivers for waste charges as well as VAT on local authority charges. The over-70s medical card debacle continues with the backlog in renewing medical cards. We also perceive an effort to abolish all Universal Payments and in particular to change some of the entitlements for Older People.

These and other issues will be discussed at the Annual Parliament Meeting of the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament this weekend. The ISCP urges the incoming Minister for Older People to implement the vision set out in “Towards 2016” and provide the necessary supports to enable Older People to maintain their health and well-being as well as to live active and full lives in an independent way in their own homes and communities.

The 14th Annual Parliament of the ISCP will take place in the Liberty Hall Theatre & Conference Centre from 2.00pm today, Friday 26 March, to 1.00pm Saturday 27 March 2010. The Annual Parliament provides the ISCP’s affiliated member organisations with an opportunity to promote the views of older people, to set policy for the Parliament and to elect officers for the coming year.

Among the issues to be discussed at the Annual Parliament will be pensions, medical cards, prescription charges, water charges and the withdrawal of the Additional payment at Christmas.

h1

National Pensions Framework

March 4, 2010

Following the launch of the long awaited National Pensions Framework, by Minister Hanafin today at Government Buildings, Máiréad Hayes CEO of the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament (ISCP) welcomed the Framework Launch but expressed her concern over the increase in the minimum age for the non-contributory State pension.

“The Parliament has always been of the view that any increase in the age of retirement should be voluntary with choices available to the person based on what is best for them.”  While we support the option to allow people to continue working longer, the mandatory age increase may not fully take the individual health and well-being of Older People into consideration.

There appears to be no ongoing commitment to move beyond the 35% of gross Average Industrial Earnings which the Framework has set out and the ISCP will work to increase this figure over time.

We welcome the introduction of Credits for Homemakers from 2012 which will replace disregards retrospective to 1994. This will benefit many women. However there are many women who were in caring and homemaker roles prior to that time. Many of them are   also affected by the marriage bar and we would urge the Minister to re-examine these issues.

We welcome the concept of the introduction of the auto-enrolment scheme. We will be closely watching how it evolves. We were in favour of a system which would be State run.

“We invite public participation in this debate – come to www.seniors.ie and let us know what you think”, concluded Ms Hayes.

ENDS


Recommendations on Pension Reform from the ISCP (1 Page)
Recommendations on Pension Reform from the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament

1. The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament is calling for a new pension system that guarantees an income adequate to meet all the needs of pensioners. Respect for Older People and a commitment to maintaining independence in old age would underpin this system. In this system a pension would be an income replacement not a minimum anti-poverty measure. An adequate pension would lead to a number of gains for society, not least social inclusion and a positive ageing experience for all (O’Shea in O’Dell, 2006). A system underwritten by these principles would be progressive and sustainable.

2. The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament proposes a new pension system where  mandatory contributions are made to a State run scheme which guarantees a pension of 50% of Gross Average Industrial Earnings on retirement.

3. Mandatory occupational pensions should be offered to all staff. Staff should not be allowed to opt out as most of our members state that where they have a GOOD PENSION it is because they had to pay for it.

4. The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament calls for reforms that would enable all Older People who need it to qualify for the State non-contributory pension.

5. The benchmark system to be applied should be the best that is on offer.

6. The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament calls for the Homemakers’ Scheme to be backdated to allow Older Women to receive a full pension in their own right

7. The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament calls for women with inadequate contribution records to be provided with a pension in recognition of their contribution to the economy and society.

8. The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament calls for a total contributions approach to qualifying for a pension because every contribution made can be used to fund pensions and should be redeemable regardless of when or how the contribution was made.

9. In the context of class D and dependent adult allowances, we suggest that the agreement for some farmer/self-employed spouses may provide a solution to deal with them. The SCOPE model agreed under the “Towards 2016” Social Partnership Agreement by the IFA, DSFA and Revenue surely provides an innovative blueprint for the resolution of other anomalies.

10. We recommend that the pension be paid at 65 and the Transition pension be abolished.

11. This allowance should be increased annually in line with inflation.

h1

National Pensions Framework

March 3, 2010

National Pensions Framework Announced!

Following the launch of the long awaited National Pensions Framework, by Minister Hanafin today at Government Buildings, Máiréad Hayes CEO of the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament (ISCP) welcomed the Framework but expressed her concern over the increase in the minimum age for the non-contributory State pension.

“The Parliament has always been of the view that any increase in the age of retirement should be voluntary with choices available to the person based on what is best for them.”  While we support the option to allow people to continue working longer, the mandatory age increase may not fully take the individual health and well-being of Older People into consideration.

Anna O’Farrell, Chairperson of the ISCP’s Pensions Committee, said that what was really needed was a sustainable contributory pension scheme with state guarantees to provide a pension of 50% of gross average industrial earnings on retirement rather than the 35% recommended in the Framework. “If the state can guarantee the banks, why can they not guarantee pensions?” asked Ms O’Farrell.

Ms. Hayes pointed out that there is a cumulative impact from a number of recent government decisions which together are increasing the risk of poverty amongst Older People in Ireland.

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament recommended in their submission to the Green Paper on Pensions that “mandatory occupational pensions should be offered to all staff and staff should not be able to opt out.”

“We invite public participation in this debate – come to www.seniors.ie and let us know what you think”, concluded Ms Hayes.

Continue for more … Leave comments … See context … Links for more info

h1

Retirement Age

March 1, 2010

Proposed Pension Age Increase

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament is concerned that the reported increase in the minimum age for the non-contributory State pension might not fully take the individual health & well-being of Older People into consideration.

Responding to the press reports arising from the upcoming launch of the Government’s “National Pensions Framework” and Bank of Ireland’s announcement that it may raise its retirement age to 68, Máiréad Hayes CEO of the Parliament said that any change to retirement age must be gradual & must take the circumstances of the individual Older Person into account.

Minister of Social & Family Affairs, Mary Hanafin warned last October that the Government might raise the pension age. Finance Minister Brian Lenihan announced in Budget 2010 that future public servants would not qualify for a full pension until the age of 66, while the Dept. of Finance has indicated that the retirement age could be set at 70 for public servants. This was also an option mentioned in the McCarthy Report.

The ISCP welcomes the clarification by An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, on the other hand, that there are no immediate plans to increase the existing retirement age for either public or private sector workers.  In particular we note his statement that the Pension Framework “would be a ‘very long-term framework’, setting out Government thinking on pensions and retirement age”.

Continuing Máiréad Hayes pointed out that there is a cumulative impact from a number of recent government decisions all of which are increasing the risk of poverty amongst Older People in Ireland. Pensions & retirement must be agreed in a coherent fashion and any changes must take both short-term & long-term objectives into consideration.

“We have today initiated public participation in this debate on our website – come to www.seniors.ie and let us know your views “, concluded Ms Hayes.

Continue for more … Leave comments … See context … Links for more info

Read the rest of this entry ?