Old age pension means test.

The old age pension is now named the state pension.  It has its own separate means test, separate from those further long-term payment.

There is a notional assessment of means from capital.  Assets either invested or put to profitable use although not invested or put to profitable use, which  could be invested or put to profitable use are assessed.  The notional amount of the income is assessed rather than the actual amount.  The first €20,000 is excluded.

Income in cash and non-cash benefits are considered means.  The income received by a qualified child that may be prescribed and that the person may reasonably be expected to receive may be assessed.

Certain sums are excluded similar to those mentioned in respect to jobseekers’ allowance,  also excluded  are

  • maintenance payments for spouse and children
  • monies received from the EU early retirement schemes,
  • monies received for rent from a person who resides with the claimant who would otherwise reside alone.
  • sums derived from the investment and use of property.
  • In the case of a person who is a qualified child who normally resides with his or her wages from self-employment except as far as the annual amount of those earnings is calculated to exceed €133 for each child
  • €2,540 plus half of the amount in  excess for monies received from REPs and special area of conservation scheme.

The preceding year is generally looked at.  This may be varied where income relates to and is attributed to  earlier years.

Where a person deprives himself of income or property in order to qualify for the pension or a particular rate the income or value of that property is to be taken as means for the purpose of the state pension.

There is an exception in respect of assignment of a farm or farm stock.  The assignments must be to a child or children of the assignor.  The assignment must relate to a farm.

et proceeds of sale of a dwelling subject to the prescribed amount as mentioned above are excluded.  This does not apply to  income derived from that income.

The means of persons living together is to be taken to be one half of the total means of the couple.  A person is entitled to one half of the profit to which the other member of the couple is entitled to or to which they are jointly entitled. The means of each member of the couple is determined in accordance with the rules and the total means is the combined means.

Where one member of a couple dies  that which was   reckoned as means of the other spouse  for the purpose of the state pension  or would have been reckoned if he was entitled to a pension is to be  reckoned as means of the surviving member for the purpose of reducing the pension of the surviving member if the pension was already in payment before death or is payable over a period a part of which preceded death.  A couple include a married couple and a couple cohabiting as man and wife.

Where a state (non-contributory) payment is being paid to a pensioner and another non- state contributory pension is payable to claimant or his spouse , then in calculating the means of the person and his spouse for the purpose of the state non-contributing pension, a portion of the amount of an increase in the other pension which if counted as means would reduce the pension or the combined pension by greater than the amount by which he other pension would be reduced ed is not reckoned as means.

Various types of military pensions are disregard for the purpose of calculation of means.

The Minister  may vary the exceptions and  criteria within limits by regulations

There are separate tests in respect of long-term payments such as widower’s and widow’s non-contributory pensions, guardian’s payments,  one parent family payments. The rules and exclusions are broadly similar to those with the state pension.  There are particular variations in the exclusions for particular types of payment.

Where there are no other means of establishing it the means for the preceding year are taken into account. In the case of non-contributory widower’s and widow’s pension and one family payment certain earnings are excluded subject to certain conditions.

Asset of which a person deprives himself are assessed.  There is an exception  in respect of transfer of firm assets to children.


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