Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD, today (22nd May 2013) published the Social Welfare and Pensions (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2013 to give effect to a number of social welfare and pensions reforms. The Bill is available to view on www.oireachtas.ie. The main provisions contained in the Bill are:
· Changes in liability for PRSI contributions which will broaden the PRSI base;
· Changes to the Jobseeker’s payment schemes;
· Enhanced identity authentication requirements for claiming social welfare payments which will help strengthen the control of welfare expenditure;
· Changes in the governance structure of the Pensions Board; and
· Facilitation of online access to the index information from the registers of births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships.
Changes in liability for PRSI (Sections 6 and 12)
Budget 2013 announced a number of measures to broaden the income base for PRSI in order to ensure the stability of the Social Insurance Fund so that it can continue to pay the pensions and benefits required by those who need them. A number of these measures were provided for in the Social Welfare Act 2012, including an increase in the minimum level of annual contribution from the self-employed from €253 to €500. This Bill extends liability for PRSI contributions to certain civil and public sector workers who pay modified rates of PRSI (Classes B, C and D) and who also have income from a trade or profession. Such income will now become liable to PRSI at the rate of 4% but will not count towards determining entitlement to social insurance benefits. (more…)