Social Welfare (No. 2) Act, 1993

Optional contributors and optional contributions.

4.—The Principal Act is hereby amended by the insertion after section 24 of the following Chapter:

“Chapter 4A

Optional Contributors and Optional Contributions

Optional contributors and contributions.

24A.—(1) A person engaged in share fishing shall, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, be entitled to opt to become an insured person (‘optional contributor’) paying contributions under this Chapter (‘optional contributions’) which shall be payable in each contribution year with effect from the contribution year ending on the 5th day of April, 1994 at such time and in such manner as may be prescribed.

(2) An optional contributor shall cease to be an optional contributor if he—

(a) ceases to be a person engaged in share fishing,

(b) ceases to be a self-employed contributor, or

(c) fails, in any contribution year, to pay an optional contribution which by virtue of being an optional contributor, he is liable to pay.

Rates of optional contributions and related matters.

24B.—(1) Optional contributions shall be payable by optional contributors in accordance with the following provisions—

(a) Subject to paragraph (b), an optional contributor shall pay an optional contribution of an amount equal to 5 per cent. of his reckonable income in thepreceding contribution year, or the sum specified in section 18 (1) (h), whichever is the greater.

(b) An optional contribution shall not be payable in respect of so much (if any) of the reckonable income of an optional contributor in any contribution year which exceeds the sum specified in section 18 (1) (d).

(2) Subject to regulations under section 24C, where an optional contribution has been paid by an optional contributor of not less than the amount that he is liable to pay under subsection (1), he shall be regarded as having paid contributions for each contribution week in that contribution year and, where the contribution paid is less than the appropriate amount aforesaid, no contribution shall be regarded as having been paid by the optional contributor in respect of any week of that contribution year.

(3) Regulations may provide for adjustments in the calculation of amounts payable in respect of optional contributions to facilitate computation and for the elimination from optional contributions of amounts of not more than 5p and for the rounding up of amounts of more than 5p but less than 10p to 10p.

(4) Optional contributions shall be disregarded in determining whether the contribution conditions for any benefit other than disability benefit, unemployment benefit or treatment benefit are satisfied:

Provided that the contribution conditions for the said benefits shall not be regarded as being satisfied unless all optional contributions payable by an optional contributor in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter have been paid.

Regulations providing for determination of optional contributions payable and related matters.

24C.—Regulations may provide for—

(a) the determination of optional contributions payable, the amount or rates of such contributions, and the contribution weeks in respect of which such contributions shall be regarded as having been paid, in the case of a person who—

(i) becomes for the first time an optional contributor,

(ii) ceases to be an optional contributor, or

(iii) in any contribution year has reckonable earnings and reckonable income,


(b) any matter ancillary or incidental to any of the matters referred to in the preceding paragraph of this section.”.