Deferring your State Pension (Contributory)

What is deferring the State Pension (Contributory)?

The State Pension (Contributory) is paid to people from the age of 66 who have enough (PRSI) contributions. From January 2024, you can choose to start claiming your State Pension (Contributory) anytime between the ages of 66 and 70.

Choosing a later start date is called deferring your pension. You can defer your start date up until you turn 70.

Why would I defer the start date for my State Pension (Contributory)?

During deferral, you can continue to work and make PRSI contributions to:

This means that deferring your State Pension (Contributory) can help you to:

  • Qualify for State Pension (Contributory) if you didn't qualify at age 66
  • Get a higher rate of State Pension (Contributory) than what you would have got at age 66

Who can defer their State Pension (Contributory)?

If you were born on or after 1 January 1958, you can choose to claim the State Pension (Contributory) anytime between the ages of 66 and 70.

Once you start claiming your State Pension (Contributory), you can no longer choose to defer your pension claim, even if you keep working. This is because you don’t pay PRSI once you start getting your pension.

Rates of deferred State Pension (Contributory)

If you choose to start claiming your pension between age 67 and 70, you may be entitled to a higher rate of State Pension (Contributory).

Your rate of pension depends on the age you are when you start getting your pension and your number of PRSI contributions. If you don’t qualify for the maximum rate, you may get a reduced rate.

The table below includes maximum rates based on January 2024 rates of State Pension (Contributory).

Age when you start to claim

Maximum rate

Increase for qualified adult (under 66)

Increase for qualified adult (66 and over)

Age 66

€277.30

€184.70

€248.60

Age 67

€290.30

€193.40

€260.30

Age 68

€304.80

€203.00

€273.20

Age 69

€320.30

€213.30

€287.10

Age 70

€337.20

€224.60

€302.30

 

You can also get an increase in your payment for child dependants (known as an Increase for a Qualified Child or IQC).

How many PRSI contributions can I make during deferral?

During deferral, you can continue to make PRSI contributions to increase your personal rate of payment, or meet the qualifying condition of 520 (10 years) contributions for State Pension (Contributory).

However, you will not be able to increase your contributions past the current maximum of 2080 (40 years).

Check your contribution record

It is important to know how many contributions you have before you choose the start date for your pension.

The Department of Social Protection has a record of your contributions. You can ask for a copy of your Contribution Statement on MyWelfare.ie. This statement includes all your PRSI contributions, including paid PRSI contributions and Long-Term Carers Contributions. You need a verified MyGovID account to use this service.

Go to Gov.ie to find out how to use your contribution record to calculate your State Pension (Contributory).

How to defer your State Pension (Contributory)

You should apply for the State Pension (Contributory) no more than 6 months before the date you want your pension to start. If you apply after the date you wanted your pension to start, it can be backdated up to 6 months only.

The Department of Social Protection has published a new application form for State Pension (Contributory) (SPC1). It asks for the date you want to start getting your pension. This can be from your 66th birthday, or any date between your 66th and 70th birthdays.

Can I get a social welfare payment during the deferral period?

If you defer claiming your State Pension (Contributory) up to the age of 70, and you meet the other qualifying conditions for the payment, you can get:

If you are already getting one of these payments when you defer your pension, you can continue getting it for as long as you’re entitled to it.

Voluntary contributions

If you defer your State Pension (Contributory) and are aged under 70, you can apply to make voluntary social insurance contributions if you:

  • Are no longer employed or a self-employed contributor, and
  • Have at least 520 contributions

More information

You can read detailed information about the State Pension (Contributory) on Gov.ie.

You can also read the Government’s press release about changes to the State Pension in Ireland.

Send your completed application form for State Pension (Contributory) (SPC1), including your chosen deferral date, to:

Department of Social Protection

Department of Social Protection

College Road
Sligo
F91 T384

Opening Hours: This office does not offer a service to personal callers. All queries must be made using the online enquiry form, by telephone or in writing.
Tel: (071) 915 7100 or 0818 200 400
Page edited: 21 May 2024