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Pension Credit: Stroud

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to increase the take-up of pension credit; how many pensioners in Stroud constituency receive pension credit; and what estimate he has made of the number of pensioners in Stroud constituency who are entitled to receive pension credit. (205389)

The Pension Service continues to undertake a wide range of activities to encourage people to claim the pension credit they are entitled to, including data matching to identify those who may be eligible but who are not receiving benefits, home visits for vulnerable customers and ever closer working with partner organisations, including local authorities.

Last December I announced a package of measures to further simplify the benefit system which includes enabling claims to housing benefit and council tax benefit made over the phone with pension credit, to be forwarded directly to the local authority without the need for a signature.

The Pension Service Local Service team in Gloucestershire works in a joint working partnership with Gloucestershire local authority, and works closely with a local Stroud partnership called Village Agents' which provides a holistic benefit take-up service across the Stroud area.

There are currently 3,860 pensioner households—4,690 individuals—receiving pension credit in Stroud. However, estimates of eligibility are not available below the level of Great Britain. It is therefore not possible to say how many pensioners are eligible to receive Pension Credit in Stroud constituency.

Notes:

1. The figures provided are early estimates. The preferred data source for figures supplied by DWP is the Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS). However, the figure provided is the latest available figure, which is taken from the QMS scan at 28 February 2008. These are adjusted using the historical relationship between WPLS and QMS data to give an estimate of the final WPLS figure.

2. Caseloads are rounded to the nearest 10.

3. Households are those people who claim pension credit either for themselves only or on behalf of a household.