Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has welcomed that letters to pensioners have begun to be issued to those negatively impacted by the 2012 pension changes. The Sinn Féin TD appealed to pensioners to apply for a review of their pension as they have nothing to lose and may be entitled to an increase.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“The Minister for Social Protection, Regina Doherty, has confirmed that 11,000 letters have started to be delivered to some of those affected by the 2012 pension changes.
“This is the first batch of letters to go out with a total of 76,000 pensioners set to receive letters including approximately 9,000 who no longer reside in Ireland.
“This is just the first step in a lengthy process undertaken by the Department of Social Protection that will see a recalculation of pension entitlements in order to rectify the impact that changes to pension bands and rates taken in 2012 had on some pension payments. I am appealing to pensioners to apply for a review of their pension as they have nothing to lose, may be entitled to an increase and possibly back money from the month of March when the changes were agreed.
“Clearly, the majority of the letters are yet to go out but I am urging people who are expecting a letter from the Department to sit tight for another few weeks until all have been issued.
“After that point, if a person feels that they should have received a letter and did not, then they should immediately contact the Department of Social Protection.
“A number of pensioners and their advocacy groups have been highlighting the financial cost of the changes introduced by the then Labour leader, Joan Burton, for a long time.
“While I welcome this development it is vitally important that the current Minister and her Department now proceeds as quickly and efficiently as possible in order to ensure that the timeframe for payment of the first quarter for next year is finally met.”