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Pension Credit pilot scheme launched
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:42 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:21 pm
Posts: 1457
Location: Hampshire
A new pilot scheme under which some pensioners will automatically receive the Pension Credit has been launched in a bid to boost take up of the benefit.

Under the scheme a randomly selected group of 2,000 pensioners, who appear to be entitled to the top up payment, will be paid it for 12 weeks before having to submit a formal claim for it.

People will be chosen for the pilot if information the Government holds on them suggests they are entitled to the Pension Credit, but they are not claiming it.

The move is part of a study the Government is running to look at ways it can make better use of the data the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue & Customs holds on individuals, in order to improve take up of the Pension Credit.

The study will also look at how individuals feel about the Government using the information it holds on them to pay the means-tested benefit without them having to claim it.

The Pension Credit tops up the basic state pension to guarantee retired people a minimum income of £132.60 a week for single people and £202.40 a week for couples.

But around one million people who are thought to be eligible for the benefit are failing to claim it.

Anecdotal evidence suggests many older people are failing to claim the benefit because they think the claims process is too complex, while others say they find it demeaning to collect means-tested benefits, and some simply do not know they may be entitled to the money.

The first payments made as part of the pilot scheme will be paid in December, with them ending in March next year. An evaluation of the study's findings will be published in the summer.


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