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NWCI welcomes introduction of a new Homecaring Credit to the pension system

Published: Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) welcomes the introduction of a new Homecaring Credit to the pension system, announced by Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty T.D. yesterday

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI, stated

“The introduction of a care credit linked to pensions signifies a welcome shift in the State's perception of unpaid care work, predominantly carried out by women, by formally recognising the value of care to society and the economy. NWCI has been calling for this for over a decade.”

“However, the government’s new proposals provide care credits only to women who began accessing their State Pension from 2012 and therefore is of benefit to future pensioners and does not address on going legacy issues with the pension system, such as the recognising the care work of women receiving pensions now and the penalising implications of the marriage bar.”

Orla O’Connor continued,

“The Irish pension system remains shaped by an out of date “male breadwinner” model, which does not reflect the current realities of people’s working lives. Women are more likely to be in low paid, part time jobs on precarious contracts which makes it difficult to collect sufficient PRSI contributions to be eligiblefor the full State contributory pension. This is further aggravated by the decision not to reverse the changes introduced in 2012, which increased the number of contributions required from 260 to 520 and made it more difficult to qualify for the full pension. In order to guarantee a fair State pension system which will guarantee income adequacy and dignity for women and men in older age, the government should introduce a Universal State Pension system.”

Orla O'Connor finished by saying,

“Finally, NWCI has advised that a care credit for pensions, if introduced, should also act as a re-entry credit for women who wish to transition from a period of caring into the workforce, the credit would provide access to social welfare supports such as labour market activation and training programmes, as well as maternity benefit when they join in the workforce. 

Today’s changes, though significant in their recognition of unpaid care work, will go only some of the way to closing the 34% gender pension gap in Ireland. Because of the complex nature of yesterday’s proposals, NWCI has requested a full briefing from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.”


For more information, please contact Silke Paasche, Head of Communications, NWCI, Tel. 085 858 9104