What is the State Pension?

The State Pension (Contributory) is paid to people who have, throughout their working life, paid enough Irish social insurance contributions. Most employers and employees over 16 years of age pay social insurance contributions. It is not means-tested. Although the rules regarding your social insurance contributions are wide ranging and complex, in general, you need to:

  • Have paid social insurance contributions before a certain age.
  • Have a certain number of social insurance contributions paid, and
  • Have a certain average number paid over the years since you first started to pay.


The State Pension (Transition) was abolished on 1 January 2014. Those who qualified before 1 January 2014 will continue to receive the State Pension (Transition) until they move to the State Pension (Contributory) at age 66.

The State Pension age is current 66 but is due to increase to 67 in 2021 and to 68 in 2028. The table below shows this in more detail


Tax Relief by Age Bracket
Year State Pension Age Year of birth of those reaching State Pension Age
2014 to 2020 66 for everyone 1948* – 1954
2021 to 2027 Increase to 67 1955 – 1960
2028 onwards Increase to 68 1961 or later

* Some people born in 1948 may have qualified for the State Pension at 65 in 2013

In general you should apply for a State Pension (Contributory) if you have ever worked and had any contributions paid at any time.

State Pension (non-contributory)

The State Pension (non-Contributory) is paid to people from the age of 66 who do not qualify for the state pension (contributory). The basic rate is €237 per week. In order to qualify you need to pass a means test and meet the Habitual residence Condition.

Source: August 2019. This is an external website not associated with Irish Life.

Source: August 2019. This is an external website not associated with Irish Life.


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