You are here: Home > Social Welfare > Social welfare payments > Unemployed people > Pre-Retirement Allowance

Pre-Retirement Allowance


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.


In order to qualify, you must:

(a) Be aged between 55 and 66

(b) Be retired from the workforce

(c) Either

  • 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.


PRETA maximum weekly rates from 8 March 2017
Personal rate €193
Qualified adult €128.10

Qualified child


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.

Page edited: 16 March 2017



Related Documents

  • Claiming for a child dependant
    You can get an increase in your social welfare payment for a child dependant. This document explains when you can claim an Increase for a Qualified Child (IQC).
  • Budget 2007
    Budget 2007 was announced on 6 December 2006. Summary of the main changes.
  • Fuel Allowance
    The National Fuel Scheme provides an allowance to low-income households that are unable to meet their heating needs.

Contact Us

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.