What is included in means test for adult dependent pension?

Once an individual becomes eligible for the State Pension (Contributory) they may apply for an adult dependant increase for a spouse or civil partner.

To be eligible for the adult dependant increase your spouse or partner cannot have:

  • gross weekly income of more than €310 a week.
  • If their income is less than €100 a week, they get a full increase for a qualified adult.
  • If their income is between €100 and €310 a week, they will get a reduced rate of increase for a qualified adult.

Gross weekly income includes:

  • Employment – average gross weekly income before Tax, PRSI and USC.
  • Self employment – income received in the last completed tax year is divided by 52 to get the average weekly income.
  • Capital – This includes property, savings and investments owned by the spouse/civil partner. If they are owned jointly, half their value is assessed as being owned by the spouse/civil partner. The Principal Private Residence is not included unless an income is being derived from it.

It is assessed as per table below:

Capital Weekly means assessed
First €20,000 Nil
Next €10,000 €1 per €1,000
Next €10,000 €2 per €1,000
Balance €4 per €1,000
  • Income from other sources – calculated on a weekly basis and includes rental income from the letting of property, foreign social welfare payments, income from a trust fund, other cash income etc.

If the spouse/civil partner satisfy the means test the increase for a qualified adult is paid directly to them. However the spouse/civil partner can choose to have the payment included with the State Pension (Contributory) payment.

The State Pension (Contributory) is taxable. As the adult dependant payment is considered an increase and not an additional payment, the person receiving the State Pension, must declare the adult dependant increase as their income and pay the tax if any on it.