News Releases

Government Expenditure on Social Security Benefits: January-December 2022
Release Date: 05 April 2023
  • Contributory Benefits outlay totalled €965.9 million by the end of December 2022, a 5.6 per cent increase from 2021.
  • 2,367 additional Two-Thirds pensioners were the principal catalyst for the reported increase in Contributory Benefits.
  • Non-Contributory expenditure amounted to €242.5 million, 14.1 per cent higher than 2021.
  • The rise in Non-Contributory outlay the result of additional COLA payments made in December 2022, together with the restructuring of the In-Work Benefit.
  • The largest cohort of Contributory beneficiaries was reported under the Two-Thirds Pension (57,932).
  • A total of 44,500 families obtained Children’s Allowance during 2022.
Government Expenditure on Social Security Benefits: January-December 2022
Release Date: 05 April 2023
During 2022, Government outlay towards Social Security Benefits rose by €80.9 million in comparison to 2021.

Social Security Benefits Expenditure

Between January and December 2022, spending on Social Security Benefits totalled €1,208.4 million, 7.2 per cent higher than the previous year. Higher expenditure was reported for both Contributory (€50.9 million) and Non-Contributory Benefits (€30.0 million) (Table 1).

Government spending towards Contributory Benefits amounted to €965.9 million, a 5.6 per cent rise from 2021. Pensions in respect of Retirement recorded the largest increase of €35.6 million, a result of 2,367 more persons in receipt of the Two-Thirds Pension. Further increases were registered under Pensions in respect of Widowhood (€10.2 million), Contributory Bonus (€8.3 million) and Benefits in respect of Industrial Injuries and Gratuities (€0.3 million). The rise in outlay was marginally offset by drops witnessed under Other Benefits (€1.6 million) and Pensions in respect of Invalidity (€1.2 million) (Table 2).

In 2022, €242.5 million went towards Non-Contributory Benefits, a 14.1 per cent increase in comparison to the previous year. An increase of €17.7 million was recorded under Total Supplementary Allowance, mainly on account of additional COLA payments to vulnerable families in December 2022. The restructuring of the In-Work Benefit, to include all eligible parents irrespective of application status, resulted in an increase in spending of  €6.7 million. In addition, increases were also witnessed under Disability Pensions/Allowance (€4.8 million), Carers Allowances/Grants (€1.4 million), Assistance to help the Elderly Live Independently (€1.5 million) and Child Allowance (€1.0 million). On the other hand, lower outlay was reported for Total Social Assistance (€1.2 million), Non-Contributory Bonus(€1.0million), Medical Assistance (€0.7 million) and Age Pension (€0.2 million) (Table 3).

In comparison to 2021, an additional €34.7 million was spent on social security benefits between October and December 2022, amounting to €306.9 million. Contributory expenditure rose by €7.5 million, with the largest increase registered under Pensions in respect of Retirement (€5.5 million). Furthermore, spending towards Non-Contributory Benefits increased by €27.2 million, resulting from the growths witnessed under Total Supplementary Allowance (€13.5million) and Total In-Work Benefit (€7.3 million) (Tables 4 and 5).

Social Security Beneficiaries

During 2022, the largest number of Contributory beneficiaries was recorded under the Two-Thirds Pension (57,932). Sickness Benefit reported the highest increase among recipients, with 7,473 additional beneficiaries when compared to 2021. On the other hand, the biggest drop in recipients was registered under the COVID-19 Parent Benefit (1,161) (Table 2).

Children’s Allowance reported the highest number of Non-Contributory recipients, with 44,500 families in receipt of the benefit. The In-Work Benefit recorded the largest increase in beneficiaries at 17,365, while the largest decline in recipients was witnessed under In-Work Supplement (2,170) (Table 3). Similar scenarios were encountered during the final quarter of 2022, with the Two-Thirds Pension (56,042) and Children’s Allowance (41,794) being the most received Contributory and Non-Contributory Benefits, respectively (Tables 4 and 5).

Chart 1. Social Security Benefits Expenditure

January-December 2022 in euro

No Data Found

Chart 2. Social Security Benefits Expenditure by ESSPROS functions

Contributory Benefits (%)

January-December 2022

No Data Found

Non-Contributory Benefits (%)

January-December 2022

No Data Found

Methodological Notes

1. Expenditure data provided in this news release is extracted from the administrative records of the Social Security Department, and is based on the Government’s Consolidated Fund.
2. Beneficiaries data is obtained from the Department of Social Security’s Unique Beneficiaries Report.
3. For every benefit, the corresponding beneficiaries reflect any person who has received the benefit at least once during the reference period. The number of beneficiaries may not be aggregated since persons obtaining two or more different benefits during the same period are listed once under each benefit. Furthermore, it should also be noted that the annual number of beneficiaries is not equal to the sum of the quarters since beneficiaries obtaining the same benefit in more than one quarter are only counted once.
4. The functions provided in charts 2 and 3 are in line with the European System of Integrated Social Protection Statistics (ESSPROS) Manual 2022 Edition (ISBN 978-92-76-58596-1). This methodology is mandatory for all EU Member States. A detailed breakdown of which benefits are classified under each function is provided in the Social Security Benefits Glossary that can be accessed from the ‘Sources and Methods’ link listed in note 7.
5. Expenditure data is not normally subject to revision, while beneficiaries data may be revised.
6. Figures may not add up exactly due to rounding.
7. More information relating to this news release may be accessed at:
8. References to this news release are to be cited appropriately.
9. Statistics in this news release should be interpreted in the context of the COVID-19 situation.
10. A detailed news release calendar is available online.
Inflation Calculator News releases calendar Request for Information NACE Code queries
Skip to content