Limerick City Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea has criticised both the Taoiseach and the Minister for Social Protection for failing to come up with a solution for people who aren’t connected to the internet to access their pension records.
Up to recently, people could write to the Department of Social Protection seeking an overview of their PRSI contributions to date but Deputy O’Dea, who is Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Social Protection, says that in recent months, this option has been done away with.
“People are now forced to obtain a Public Services Card, fill out an application form to create a new user profile on the Department’s website and then apply for the information,” he explained.
“The creation of a new user profile is all predicated on the person having access to a computer, the internet and an email address.
“This is deeply unfair on those older people who don’t have the wherewithal to use modern IT systems.
“In mid-October, my colleague Michael Moynihan TD asked the Taoiseach what process would be put in place for such people. He informed him that he would check and come back to him. Yet, last week, the Taoiseach was asked again about the issue and he still had no resolution.
“This just isn’t good enough. This is an issue affecting thousands of people in their early to mid-60s who are starting the process of preparing to retire, and who need this information to make educated decisions about their futures.
“I’m all for streamlining e-government services, but it cannot be done to the detriment of people who don’t have IT experience,” Deputy O’Dea concluded.
In a statement issued to The Limerick Post, a spokesperson for the Department of Social Protection said they were committed to providing a contribution record statement to all customers who require one and will provide this in written copy by phone request in the case of customers who are not in a position to use the online facility.
“Any customer who has a difficulty engaging with the MyWelfare service can contact the Department’s customer service team on 1890 690 690 or 01 4715898 for assistance. The customer service team is available to assist from 9am to 5pm and is also open during lunchtime,” the spokesperson added.
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