The Pre-Retirement Allowance (PRETA) is for people in Ireland aged 55 and over who have left the labour force. It is means-tested and you no longer have to sign-on as you do not need to be available for work.
Since 4 July 2007, no new applications for Pre-Retirement Allowance are accepted. However, if you were getting Pre-Retirement Allowance before 4 July 2007 you are not affected and can continue to get it.
Budget 2019: The maximum weekly rate of Pre-Retirement Allowance will increase by €5 with proportional increases for qualified adults and people on reduced rates of payment. In addition, the weekly rate for a qualified child will increase by €2.20 from €31.80 to €34 for children under 12 years of age. It will increase by €5.20 from €31.80 to €37 for children aged 12 years and over. These changes will take effect from the week beginning 25 March 2019.
In order to qualify, you must:
(a) Be aged between 55 and 66
(b) Be retired from the workforce
- have been getting Jobseeker's Benefit or Jobseeker's Allowance for 15 months or,
- are no longer getting One-Parent Family Payment or Carer's Allowance or,
- be a separated spouse who has not been working in the previous 15 months.
(e) Pass a means test
(The means test is similar to the means test for Jobseeker's Allowance).
Working while on Pre-Retirement Allowance
You cannot work and get PRETA.
However, there are exceptions, if you are getting PRETA for 12 months or longer you are eligible for either the Back to Work Allowance or Back to Work Enterprise Allowance scheme. Smallholders (farmers) may earn money from their holding and get PRETA, provided they pass the means test.
You do not have to sign on if you are getting PRETA.
How to apply
Since 4 July 2007, no new applications for Pre-Retirement Allowance are accepted. The Social Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 2006 abolishes the Pre-Retirement Allowance but existing recipients are not affected and may continue to get it.