New measures needed to ensure pension equality for women – Smith

– Current system penalises mothers and carers –

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has called on the Government to review the current pension system.  People who may have haven time out of the workplace to look after children or to care for a relative are being unfairly penalised as they fail to qualify for a full pension.
Deputy Smith commented, “I have been contacted by a number of women who are worried about their pension entitlements.  These are women who left work for a number of years to look after their children, and who now do not have enough contributions to qualify for the full state pension.  I’ve also come across cases where people have had to leave work to care for an elderly relative and are now in the same position.
“The Government needs to review the current system, which is deeply unfair.  People leaving the workforce to care for children or relatives should not be penalised.  They have made a substantial contribution to society, both in their roles in the workplace, and as carers and this needs to be fully recognised by the State.
“This Government talks about equality and fairness, but this pensions system is outdated and unfair.  I will be raising this issue again with Ministers Varadkar and Donohoe when the Dáil resumes next month”.