A pensioner recently settled a High Court action against the State depriving him of his pension entitlements. On the death of his wife, the pensioner became entitled to a widower’s contributory surviving spouse pension. However, he claimed he was entitled to a greater amount — on the basis that his late wife had made contributions before 1953.
The State claimed his pension was lawfully reduced under the Social Welfare Act 2000. This act increased a person’s contributory pension during their lifetime. However, following their death — it removed entitlements from their spouses to the Surviving Civil Partner Contributory Pension. In effect what the Department of Social Welfare gave with one hand, it took away with the other.
Solicitor Niall Kiernan, (niall [@] lawlorpartners.ie), represented the plaintiff and successfully argued “The Government is entitled to vary pension and benefit entitlements, but must do so in accordance with Law and without discrimination against a particular class”.
Read more details of the case on here – doc03515120140703154326_001