The Homemaker's Scheme makes it easier for a homemaker to qualify for the State Pension (Contributory).
A homemaker, for the purposes of the Homemaker’s Scheme (which was introduced from 6 April 1994), is a man or woman who provides full-time care for a child under age 12 or an ill or disabled person aged 12 or over.
Under the Homemaker's Scheme any years that you spent as a homemaker (since 6 April 1994) are ignored or disregarded when working out your yearly average contributions for a State Pension (Contributory). To be eligible, you must:
- Permanently live in the State (except in cases where provisions under EU or posted worker regulations apply)
- Be aged under 66
- Have started insurable employment or self-employment on or after the age of 16 and before the age of 56
- Not work full-time, however, you can work and earn less than €38 gross per week
- Care full-time for a child under 12 or an ill or disabled person
Before 26 October 2000, you were required to live with the person you were caring for. Since 26 October 2000, if you are not living with this person:
- A direct system of communication must exist between your home and the person being cared for, for example by telephone or alarm system and
- The person being cared for must not be getting full-time care and attention within their own home from anyone else
The person being cared for must be so disabled or incapacitated as to need:
- Continuous supervision in order to avoid danger to himself or herself
- Continuous supervision and frequent assistance throughout the day in connection with his or her normal personal needs
It's important to note that only one person can be regarded as the homemaker at any one time. If you stop being a homemaker and your spouse or civil partner takes up homemaking duties, you should notify the Department immediately to ensure there is no loss of entitlements under the Homemaker's Scheme.
A homemaking year is a year in which you are out of the workforce for the full tax year (only a full year can be disregarded). Up to a maximum of 20 homemaking years can be disregarded for State Pension (Contributory) purposes.
Homemaker’s credits can be awarded for part of a year at the start of the homemaking period, from the date you become a homemaker up to the end of the tax year. Likewise, homemaker’s credits can also be awarded for part of a year when the homemaking period ends, from the start of the tax year up to the date you stop homemaking.
How to apply
Registering as a homemaker
You should register before the end of the contribution year after the year in which you first become a homemaker. An application may be backdated if there is a delay in submitting the claim. To register fill out the Homemaker's form (HM1) (pdf).
You do not need to register if you:
- Are getting Carer's Allowance, Carer's Benefit or the Carer's Support Grant
- Are getting Child Benefit and are providing the child(ren) with full-time care
You do not need to register because your claim for Child Benefit, Carer's Allowance, Carer's Benefit or the Carer's Support Grant is treated as an application to be registered as a homemaker.
Where to apply