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The Sunday Times - Money Questions 06/09/09

Posted by Jill Kerby on September 06 2009 @ 20:24

The Sunday Times 

MoneyQs – Sept 6

By Jill Kerby 

 

OO’S writes from Dublin: I will be made redundant shortly and the company pays VHI for me and my husband, Plan B Excess. The company will immediately cease paying the VHI, so that leaves me with a decision to make as to what health insurance company is best for us. I am in my mid fifties and my husband is in his late fifties. What company and health plan do you think is most suitable for us?

 

I passed your query onto Dermot Goode, a fee-based broker who specialises in health insurance (see healthinsurancesavings.ie). He suggests that the Quinn Health Care equivalent to your Plan B Excess, which costs €752 per adult is Essential Plus Excess, which costs €642 per annum. Given that your family income has been drastically reduced, you might also consider Quinn’s Essential Plus Starter at €499 p/a “which covers all public and most private hospitals,  andwhich might be suitable if your reader wants to reduce her cover temporarily until she finds alternative employment.”  Switching back up to a higher benefits plan later may result in restricted benefits if either of you develop a medical condition that would then be subject to an exemption period under a higher plan.  Make sure you understand all the possible consequences before you sign up to any new plan. 

 

ends

TC writes fromDublin:  Several people have told me that as a British subject living in Ireland for many years, both before and since my retirement, though I never worked here, that I can transfer my UK state pension to Ireland and be paid Irish state pension rates, which are a lot more generous! My Irish wife has a UK pension from her marriage to me, but it seems she can apply for a non-contributory Irish pension when she is 66. She has too few PRSI contributions to qualify otherwise. I am not sure it can happen but no harm in asking and trying to get a bit more to live on!

As the UK is covered by EU Bilateral Social Security Agreements, your UK state pension rights are protected when you move to Ireland and your pension can be paid to you in Ireland by the UK Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). If you have not already physically transferred your pension you can do so by consulting the DWPs International Pensions Centre at the Department for Work and Pensions, Tyneview Park, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE98 1BA, England or call 0044 191 218 7777. They also have a website you can consult: www.thepensionservice.gov.uk . As for just switching benefits from the UK to Irish state pension system, I’m afraid you have been misinformed. There is a provision for people who have made social security contributions during their working lives in more than one country to qualify for a combined pension from these countries, which could be paid to them by the Irish Department of Social and Family Affairs if they end up residing here. To qualify for such a pension you would have to be employed in Ireland for some time throughout your working life; since you were never employed here, this arrangement would not apply to you. However, a spokesperson for the Department told me that both you and your spouse can apply for an Irish State Pension (Non-Contributory) which is a means tested scheme payable at age 66 to residents of Ireland. Your UK pension and any other income or savings, and that of your spouse will be taken into account, but if your UK state pension in your only income, because it is of lower value than the Irish non-contributory pension which is a maximum of €219 per week, you may have some entitlement to a payment.

 

Ends

 

EAM writes from Dublin: I recently made a loan to my son who is living in the UK. The arrangement is that he will repay £250 per month. He is with Nat West and my account is with AIB. Can you tell me the simplest and most cost effective method for him to arrange repayments?

Your son should first consult his UK bank as to the cost – for both the transfer and the exchange rate conversion (if it is done at that end) and the time it would take to do an electronic transfer to your AIB account. You would think this would be the simplest thing to do since all you need are the respective banks’ addresses, account numbers, IBAN codes, BIC/ SWIFT codes (which your banks can furnish), and it is, but such a transfer is not necessarily the cheapest. The smaller the sum, often the bigger the charge, and your son should check out the cost of the transfer from other money transfer agents, such as Western Union or some of the othersthat advertise on the internet.  Check them out carefully – aside from the security issue, some only transfer sums of at least £1,000 or more. Finally, do either of you have a PayPal account, which is very easy to set up (see www.paypal.com)?  Anyone who uses e-Bay, for example, is recommended to set up such an account from which secure payments are made via credit cards but I’ve used my PayPal account for many other transactions. This might be the simple and cheap solution you are both seeking. 

1 comment(s)

  1. cave-biology.org on Apr 12 2021 06:50
    After reading that The company will immediately cease paying the VHI, I am thinking of leaving cave-biology.org and joining the company you mentioned as it seems quite amazing.
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