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Pension Credit: Take Up

Volume 464: debated on Friday 19 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of pensioners who are entitled to pension credit but do not claim it; what steps he is taking to reduce that number; and if he will make a statement. (157341)

Latest estimates of the number of pensioners eligible for but not claiming pension credit can be found in “Pension Credit Estimates of Take-Up in 2005/2006”. A copy of the report is available in the Library.

The Pension Service is undertaking a wide range of steps to encourage eligible pensioners to claim pension credit. In 2006-07 around 2.8 million direct mailings were issued to customers who may have an entitlement to pension credit.

The Pension Service Local Service offers face-to-face visits to potentially eligible and vulnerable pensioners during which full benefit entitlement checks are carried out. Nearly one million home visits were conducted during 2006-07.

The Pension Service Local Service is continuing to work closely with local partners (including local authorities and voluntary organisations such as Help the Aged and Age Concern) on pension credit take-up activity. There are now 184 operational Joint Working Partnerships enabling the Pension Service Local Service, local authorities and the voluntary sector to provide a single point of access to social care and benefit entitlement.

In addition, we have modernised our service and encourage take up by enabling new customers who call to claim their state pension, to also apply for pension credit, housing benefit and council tax benefit in a single telephone call if appropriate.