The Government has confirmed today that progress has been made in the review of those in receipt of reduced Contributory Pensions, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Kildare South Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon said: “I am delighted that Minister Regina Doherty confirmed today that letters to 67,000 contributory pension recipients will start to issue in the coming weeks. This will commence the review process for those in receipt of reduced contributory pensions.

“Minister Doherty announced changes last January for those affected by anomalies as a result of the yearly averaging system and the introduction of a home caring credit for years spent caring for their family.

“The Minister confirmed that work has been ongoing work within her Department to prepare legislation and design IT systems to deal with the changes since they were announced. This work is on target to see the review process commence in the coming weeks. Temporary staff are currently being recruited to her Department to assist with the review process.

“The Minister also confirmed in answer to my questions that she hopes payments of increased pensions and arrears to 30th March 2018 should happen by the end of Quarter 1, 2019.

“Confirmation there are no delays will be welcome news to the many thousands of mainly women who have campaigned for years to have these anomalies addressed.

“The introduction of a home caring credit for up to 20 years family caring as part of this process will also help to provide recognition for the invaluable work these women carried out.

“The Minister also emphasised that there would be no losers as part of this process as each individual would have the choice to take their recalculated pension or remain on their existing one if it was more beneficial,” Deputy Heydon said.