Old age pensions increase for sixth year in a row

93,000 pensioners to benefit from collective yearly increase of €24.2 million

Old age pensions will be increasing for the sixth year in a row, with 93,000 pensioners netting a yearly increase of €24.2 million more between them.

With a weekly increase of €5, inclusive of COLA, weekly pensions will be adjusted by €3.25 per week.

Pensioners will be receiving a total yearly increase of €260 yearly.

The Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said there will also be an adjustment in the income tax brackets for pensioners with married computation to ensure more tax savings.

The budget also proposes a €50 increase in bonus for elderly who have no pension, but had at some point paid National Insurance.

People who paid less than five years of national insurance will receive a bonus of €250, while those who paid more than five years of national insurance will be granted a bonus of €350.

Around 11,000 elderly people, mostly women, will be benefitting from the measure.

Elderly who live at their own home, or at a private residence, will continue to be granted a yearly sum of €300 if they are 75 years or older, and €350 if they are aged 80 years or older.

Similar to previous years, the portion of any service pension which is not to be reduced from the retirement pension is being increased by a further €200.

On accredited contributions, Scicluna said women who were born before 1962 and worked at the ages of 16,17 and 18 will have National Insurance payments for the years accredited to their names.

The government will also be increasing the fiscal benefit for those holding a private pension by €1,000 to a sum of €3,000.

Low tranche bonds targeted towards elderly aged 62 and over will be reissued in a move to mitigate banks’ low-interest environment.

Free bus travel for elderly will be reduced to 70 from 75. Around 19,000 elderly people will be benefitting from the scheme.

Pensions for service personnel will be increasing by €200, and so the 2021 pension sum will total €2,866.

Disability

Parents who stop from work to care for a disabled child will be receiving a yearly sum of €300 over and above their current disability allowance.

In a measure which affects both the elderly and families with disabled relatives, government will be extending its assistance to part finance the wage of a home carer.

Government’s assistance of €5,291 will increase to €6,000.

In a scheme aimed at increasing the integration of persons with disability into society, the budget will be granting €10,000 to taxi owners with new cars having wheelchair access.

The grant will only be given if more than ten years have passed since the previous vehicle’s registration. The old vehicle must be scrapped at an authorised facility.

The assistance for severe disabilities will be broadened to include a wider range of disabilities.

More in Budget 2021