457. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a person (details supplied) can buy voluntary contributions to make it up to 520 contributions for a State pension; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20105/18 asked on 08 May 2018)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The legislation governing voluntary contributions is contained in the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 and Statutory Instrument 312/1996.

The acceptance criteria for the voluntary contributions scheme currently requires applicants

- To submit an application within 60 months (5 years) of the end of the year in which they last paid, or were credited with a social insurance contribution

- To have a minimum of 520 compulsory paid contributions prior to application

According to the records of my Department, the person concerned last paid compulsory PRSI in 1980 and has a total of 491 reckonable contributions.

In the circumstances, she cannot be admitted as a Voluntary Contributor, as a considerably longer period of time has elapsed beyond the prescribed 60 month limit and she has paid less than the required 520 compulsory PRSI contributions.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.