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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 20 November, 2019
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Age Action calls for €9 weekly rise in old age pension

The pension has only increased by a little over €7 in the last 10 years.

Image: Shutterstock/Syda Productions

AGE ACTION HAS called for the State pension to be increased by €9 a week.

The advocacy organisation for older people said that a €9 increase in the weekly Old Age Pension would be a key step in building towards the Government’s own commitment that the pension should be set at 35% of average weekly earnings.

Celine Clarke, the organisation’s head of advocacy said that the pension has only increased by a little over €7 in the last 10 years and that another increase is needed to support older people in Ireland. 

She said: “The National Pensions Framework was published almost 10 years ago and it committed the Government to benchmarking the Old Age Pension at 35% of average weekly earnings. In order to move the current pension payment towards the delivery of that target, we are calling on the Government to increase the weekly pension payment by €9.” 

Clarke explained that in 2009, the weekly income for pensioners depending on the State – when all the benefits were added together – was €265.44, this year it’s €273.63 – only €7.89 higher than it was 10 years ago. 

She added: “While pensions have increased by a welcome €5 per week over the last few years, there is no clear and transparent formula informing these increases, and Ireland is also unusual in setting the pension rate in the budget every year.

“Age Action is urging the Government to consider applying a triple lock formula for pension increases – namely, guaranteeing that the basic State pension will rise by a minimum of either 2.5%, the rate of inflation or average earnings growth, whichever is the larger.”

In addition to the proposals on pension increases, Age Action is also calling for an increase of €5 in the Living Alone Allowance. It also wants to increase the Fuel Allowance rate by €2.35 and reintroduce a 32-week payment period.

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