Seven things you should know about the State pension
There are two types of State pension - contributory and non-contributory. As the contributory pension is not means-tested, it is probably the easier one to get.
2 Any gap in your social insurance record can make it harder for you for qualify for the full contributory State pension. So should you have had a summer job in your teens before going to college or travelling for a number of years, you could lose out on the full State pension - even if you spent most of your life working in Ireland.
3 You may not qualify for the full State pension if you looked after children full-time in the home before April 1994. Any years spent looking after children in the home since early April 1994 shouldn't work against you for the State pension, however - as long as the children you looked after were under the age of 12 or incapacitated. This is because of the Homemaker scheme - a scheme introduced to make it easier for stay-at-home parents to qualify for the State contributory pension. Remember you may qualify for the widow's or widower's State pension if your spouse or partner dies before you.
4 You can make voluntary social insurance contributions should you decide to leave work for any reason - or should you be self-employed and not earning enough to have to pay PRSI. This will prevent you building up a gap in your social insurance record.
5 You won't necessarily build up a gap in your social insurance record if you become unemployed, sick or go to college - you may qualify for 'credits' similar to the social insurance contributions you paid while working.
6 Should you retire in 2028 or later, you won't get the State pension until you're 68 years old.
7 There are concerns about the sustainability of the Irish State pension, so there are likely to be changes on the cards for the pension in the future.
Sunday Indo Business