Irish nuns who stopped receiving Portuguese pension have payments reinstated by Ombudsman

Peter Tyndall
Peter Tyndall

Three nuns who stopped receiving their Portuguese state pension after returning to Ireland have had the payments reinstated following an intervention by the Irish Ombudsman.

The nuns had been without pension payments for over six months after returning to Ireland, having spent decades in Portugal providing education and care to disadvantaged people.

The problem arose as the Portuguese authorities normally pay pensions directly into personal bank accounts. However, after their return to Ireland the three nuns needed their pensions paid to their religious congregation as they no longer had personal accounts.

Ombudsman Peter Tyndall contacted his Portuguese counterpart through the European Ombudsman Network, who in turn contacted the Portuguese pension authorities to restore the payments.

The religious congregation in Ireland explained to the Ombudsman that they had great difficulties trying to resolve the problem with the Portuguese authorities as they received no replies to their letters, emails and phone calls.

The Irish Ombudsman arranged for a series of documents and declarations to be sent to the Portuguese Ombudsman. Finally the Portuguese pension authorities agreed to pay the pension entitlements and the arrears that was due to the nuns.

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