Pension changes for farming wives

WOMEN working on farms have been urged to check out their pension entitle- ments in the context of changes and clarifications announced by Social and Family Affairs Minister Mary Hanafin.

Irish Farmers Association president, Padraig Walshe, said they should ensure that they are in receipt of a contributory pension, if entitled to one.

He said women working on farms in partnership with their spouses can qualify for a non-means- tested pension in their own right, following negotiations between the IFA, the Department of Social and Family Affairs, and the Revenue.

Mr Walshe said the criteria in determining whether a partnership exists are now transparent for farm families.

Spouses who were effectively farming in a partnership in the past, but did not claim to be so when making their tax and PRSI returns, will be eligible to seek such status retrospectively.

IFA Farm Family Committee chairperson, Mary Sherry, said many wives “never formally claimed partnership status.

“These spouses subsequently lost out under the means-tested pension because, for example, they jointly own the farm and this is included in the means test,” she said

Ms Sherry advised spouses working on farms, who may be eligible to claim partnership status retrospectively, to ensure they prepare adequate supporting material for the relevant years.


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