Pensions
 
This measure increases all weekly pension rates (for those aged 66 and over) in 2016 by 3 with proportionate increases for those on reduced rates as well as qualified adults.
 
Overall, some 583,000 pensioners and 93,500 qualified adults will benefit from the increases provided in Budget 2016, as follows:
 
Contributory Pensioners
It is estimated that the weekly average number of contributory pensioners in 2016 will be 477,200 or almost 82% of all pensioners in receipt of a personal rate of payment. An increase of €3 a week is being provided for some 294,800 contributory pensioners on maximum rates of payment, with proportionate increases for a further 182,400 contributory pensioners on reduced rates of payment. This is a 1.3% increase over 2015 rates generally and slightly ahead of the projected annual inflation rate of 1% for 2016.
 
Non-Contributory Pensioners
It is estimated that the weekly average number of non-contributory pensioners, including recipients of Carer’s Allowance (aged 66 and over) will be 105,800. An estimated 94,600 non-contributory pensioners and 1,900 recipients of Carer’s Allowance (aged 66 and over) will receive an increase of €3 (1.4% increase in respect of non-contributory pensioners and 1.3% in respect of Carer’s Allowance recipients) a week. Some 9,300 recipients of “Half Rate” Carer’s Allowance will receive an increase of €1.50 per week (in addition to an increase on their primary payment).
 
Increases in the rates of Qualified Adult payments:
Overall, some 93,500 Qualified Adults of pensioners will benefit, as follows:
? An increase of €2.70 per week (1.3%) for State Pension (Contributory) Qualified Adults aged 66 years of age or over. 71,350 Qualified Adults will benefit from this increase, including those on reduced rates of payment who will benefit on a proportional basis. In 2016, the Qualified Adult rate (aged 66 and over) will be equivalent to 94.1% of the personal non contributory rate.
A contributory pension couple (where one is a qualified adult aged 66 or over) will receive a maximum of €442.30 per week in 2016 or equivalent to €22,999.60 per annum. Such a couple will also benefit from the Christmas Bonus, Free Travel and may also have an entitlement to the Household Benefits Package and Fuel Allowances.
? An increase of €2.00 per week for State Pension (Contributory) Qualified Adults aged under 66 – an increase of 1.3% on 2015. 19,200 Qualified Adults will benefit from this increase.
? An increase of €2.00 for State Pension (Non-Contributory) Qualified Adults – an increase of 1.4%. 2,950 Qualified Adults will benefit from this increase.