Know your rights: Retiring from work and social welfare payments

Question: I will be 65 in May 2014, and will be retiring from work. I know that my State Pension will not be paid until I am 66, so can I claim any other social welfare payment in the meantime?

Answer: There is no statutory retirement age in Ireland. Age of retirement is determined by your contract of employment. In many cases this is age 65.

The State Pension (Transition) will no longer be paid from 1 January 2014, so many people will have an income gap before they can claim the State Pension (Contributory) at age 66.

You can claim Jobseeker’s Benefit (which is based on your PRSI contributions). If you are aged between 65 and 66 your Jobseeker’s Benefit will continue until you qualify for your State Pension at age 66 (even if it would normally end sooner). You must have at least 156 paid contributions since entering employment to get this special concession.

You can claim Jobseeker’s Allowance, if you do not qualify for Jobseeker’s Benefit, and you can continue to claim if you are on it already.

The means test for Jobseeker’s Allowance takes into account all sources of income; if you have a pension from your employer or other private pension you may not qualify. You must satisfy the normal conditions for getting a jobseeker’s payment, such as being available for, actively seeking and capable of work.

Know Your Rights has been compiled by Blackrock Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel:0761 076930 Address: Convent Road,Blackrock,Cork.

Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000.

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