In Ireland, the State Pension (Contributory) is a very important buffer against poverty in our old age. It will never be enough to keep you in much style but losing it or even part of it would be disastrous.
Rather than waiting to retirement age, find out now about your social insurance record from Client Eligibility Services, Social Welfare Services, Department of Social Protection, McCarter’s Road, Ardavan, Buncrana, Co Donegal. There are several ways to qualify for this pension, but for most of us it will be determined by the following fraction:
Number of total full PRSI payments made over working life divided by the number of weeks since first starting work. The closer the result is to 52 the better!
In my case I paid 7 weeks PRSI contributions for work I did while in college, but remained a fulltime student for the following 4 years. Unfortunately this means that those 4 years in education form part of the denominator in the fraction mentioned. This means my overall fraction will be lower than it should be and my pension will therefore be reduced. That’s the reward I get for doing some work while in college. Crazy but true!