For many farmers, the sale of an outfarm or town house is the pension pot that keeps them going when the next generation has taken on the farm. Often funding retirement is a major concern for those older farmers passing on the farm to the next generation. Many Irish farmers find themselves in a situation at retirement age where they fail to qualify for the State contributory pension or non-contributory pension, leaving them with little choice but to work into their retirement years or be financially dependent on family members in their old age.

A recent study by Maynooth University showed that low-income farmers can fail to qualify for either the State contributory or non-contributory pension. Why is this? The history of the PRSI system for self-employed businesses means that retiring farmers often fall short of the required 40 years of PRSI contributions needed to qualify for the State contributory pension.