Pensions bombshell for thousands of farmers' wives
Thousands of farmers' wives, who are 'employed' on their home farms and make PRSI contributions, have no contributory pension entitlements.
This pensions bombshell was delivered by the Department of Social Protection to the IFA recently.
"We were advised that all these women are going to get when they reach retirement/pension age at 66 years, is a refund of the PRSI payments, which they have made," said IFA spokeswoman Maura Canning following a meeting with Department officials.
"They are not entitled to a contributory pension, even though they have been paying in to PRSI for several years."
The reason for this anomaly appears to be a technicality which affects normal contributory pension entitlements in a situation where one spouse is employed by the other.
Ms Canning, chairperson of the IFA's farm family and social affairs committee, said the association was very concerned about the situation.
"The matter needs to be taken up further to establish if a more satisfactory outcome can be agreed," she said.
"We have quite a few women who are now getting refunds of their payments when they had expected to be qualifying for a contributory pension.