Know Your Rights June 2019

Citizens Information

Know Your Rights

: State Pension (Contributory) 


June 2019


I will be retiring soon. I spent many years working and I have also spent time raising and caring for my family. Can I qualify for the State Pension (Contributory)?


The State Pension (Contributory) (SPC) is paid from the age of 66 to people who have worked and have enough social insurance contributions. Recent changes introduced a new method to calculate the rate of SPC paid to a person who reaches pension age on or after 1 September 2012. The new method can help people who have spent time out of the workforce caring to qualify for an SPC.

Firstly, you must be aged 66 or over and have enough Class A, E, F,G, H, N or S social insurance contributions, you must have started to pay social insurance in Ireland before the age of 56 and you must have 520 full-rate contributions (10 years of contributions).

Then, provided you reached pension age on or after 1 September 2012, you can have your contributions assessed using the new  Total Contributions Approach (TCA) and can avail of a new HomeCaring Periods Scheme. The TCA counts the total number of contributions you have paid. If you have 2,080 or more contributions (40 years of employment) you will qualify for the maximum personal rate of SPC. If you have fewer than 2,080 contributions, you can use up to 1,040 Home Caring Periods (20 years) and up to 520 credited contributions (10 years), to help you qualify for an SPC. Your combined Home Caring Periods and credited contributions cannot be more than 1,040 (20 years).

If you reached pension age on or after 1 September 2012, your entitlement to a pension will be calculated using both the current yearly averaging system and the new TCA calculation. If you are entitled to a SPC, the rate of pension you get will be based on whichever calculation is best for you. You can get a State Pension (Contributory) form from your local post office and your Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office.


Know Your Rights :

Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme

June 2019



How do I access the Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme for my 2 year-old child?


The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme provides free early childhood care and education for children of pre-school age. It gives children their first formal experience of early learning before starting primary school.

Your child can start ECCE when they are 2 years and 8 months of age and continue until they transfer to primary school (once they are not older than 5 years and 6 months at the end of the pre-school year). The Department of Children and Youth Affairs’ eligibility calendar shows when your child can participate in the ECCE Scheme.

If your child has special needs they may be able to get an exemption from the upper age limit. If you have a child with a disability, you can also apply for additional supports under the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) – you can find more information on

Children can only enrol in pre-school in September. The ECCE Scheme runs from September to June for 3 hours a day, 5 days a week. If your child attends a childcare service (crèche, playschool, naíonra, Montessori or parent and toddler group) for longer than this each day or for extra weeks outside the school year (38 weeks) you have to pay for these extra hours.

To get a place for your child, apply to a participating playschool or day care centre. You can get a list of participating services from your local City or County Childcare Committee (CCC) on You will need to provide a copy of your child’s birth certificate or passport and their PPS number.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.



Know Your Rights: Bringing a dog or cat into Ireland

June: 2019




I am moving back to Ireland after several years in Germany. Am I allowed to bring my dog and cat home with me?



Strict controls are in place for bringing pets into Ireland to ensure that diseases such as rabies are not introduced. If you are moving to Ireland or coming on holiday you can bring your dog or cat with you. The EU system of Passports for Pets allows dogs, cats and ferrets to travel between EU member states.

Any private veterinary practice can issue an EU Pet Passport which will certify that the pet is travelling from an eligible country, is identified by an implanted microchip and has been vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before travel. Cats, dogs or ferrets coming from countries other than the UK, Finland or Malta must be treated against tapeworm between 24 and 120 hours before travel. The time and date of treatment are entered on the passport. Treatment for ticks is not compulsory, but it is advisable to get it at the same time as the tapeworm treatment.

Registered airlines may choose to carry pets complying with the Pet Passport regulations. Compliant pets may travel on any ferry. The pet must travel with its owner or with a person acting on behalf of the owner (unaccompanied pets cannot travel to Ireland under the EU Pet Passport System).

A list of frequently asked questions is available from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and for further information you can also contact the Citizens Information Centre below.


Know Your Rights: Electric scooters


June 2019



Travelling to my office through city traffic is taking me longer because of increased congestion. Can I travel by electric scooter instead?



An electric scooter (sometimes called an e-scooter) is a small platform with two or more wheels that is propelled by an electric motor. The rider can also propel the electric scooter forward by pushing off the ground.

Electric scooters and electric skateboards fall into the category of ‘mechanically propelled vehicles’ (as defined in the Road Traffic Act 1961).  If a vehicle can be powered by mechanical or electrical power alone, then it is considered to be a ‘mechanically propelled vehicle’.

Under Irish road traffic law, people using such vehicles in a public place must have insurance, road tax and a driving licence. There are penalties under road traffic laws (including fixed charge notices, penalty points, fines and possible seizure of the vehicle) for not being in compliance with these requirements. As it is currently not possible to tax or insure electric scooters or skateboards, they are not considered suitable for use in public places.

However, the Road Safety Authority is carrying out research as to how electric scooters and other such vehicles are regulated in other countries, particularly in other EU member states. The goal is to understand the road safety implications of the use of such vehicles on public roads, especially when interacting with other vehicles.

You can read frequently asked questions about electric vehicles on

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

Know Your Rights has been compiled by Bray Information Centre which provides a free and confidential service to the public. See for details of your local centre or phone our main office in Bray on 0761 07 6780

Information is also available online at and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000.




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