Over 700 people in Kilkenny have been affected by the changes to contributory pensions, new figures have revealed.
Sinn Féin's John Brady asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of recipients of a State pension (contributory) who qualified for payment since the changes were made to the bands and rates in 2012 and whose payment is less than the full payment rate as a result of those changes.
The breakdown of these pension recipients per county revealed that in Kilkenny there were 706 recipients of which 464 were females and 242 were males that were affected by the changes.
Minister Regina Doherty said: “The change in relation to State pension (contributory), introduced with effect from September 1 2012, sets out a wider graduation of yearly average bands and corresponding pension rates.
“The aim of this change is to ensure that the rate of pension payment is more closely related to the paid or credited social insurance contribution record a person holds over their working lives.
“The maximum pension rate band, for those with a yearly average of 48 contributions or over, remained unchanged, as did the rate payable to people with a yearly average of between 40 and 47 contributions.”
She added: “A person’s yearly average of contributions determines a person’s rate of pension entitlement.
“The changes introduced from 1 September 2012 affected only those who qualified for State pension (contributory) after that date, and only those who had an average of between 10 and 39 contributions per year.
“According to the records of my Department, the current number of recipients of state pension (contributory) is 391,998.
“Of those recipients, 42,278 pensioners – 26,598 females and 15,680 males - have been affected by the rate band changes introduced from September 2012. 38,191 of those affected are resident in Ireland – 24,430 females and 13,761 males.”