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:
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:
The person being cared for must be so disabled or incapacitated as to need:
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.
You should register before the end of the contribution year after the year in which you first become a homemaker. For example, if you become a homemaker between in 2013, you should register before 31 December 2014. To register fill out the Homemaker's form (HM1) (pdf).
You do not need to register if you:
You do not need to register because your claim for Child Benefit, Carer's Allowance, Carer's Benefit or the Respite Care Grant is treated as an application to be registered as a homemaker.
Department of Social Protection
Tel:(01) 471 5898
Locall:1890 690 690
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.