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Pension Credit: Overpayments

Volume 490: debated on Thursday 26 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Cardiff Central of 12 January 2009, Official Report, column 41W, on pension credit: overpayments, how much was repaid through (a) voluntary repayment, (b) automatic deduction from benefit, (c) county court judgement, (d) the use of bailiffs, (e) bankruptcy orders, (f) repossession orders, (g) private debt collection companies and (h) another method of repayment in each month. (252993)

The information requested in relation to the means of repayment is not available in all the categories requested.

Action taken through the courts to recover overpayments of pension credit is limited as it is not our policy to take enforcement action through the courts where the customer is in receipt of a benefit or a pension.

The only cases where such court action could arise is where recovery is sought from the estate of a deceased customer to recover an overpayment outstanding at death, or where an overpayment is identified after death following a check of probate records. Court action would only then be taken if it had not been possible to reach a voluntary arrangement.

Likewise, our private sector partners are not generally used to seek recovery from customers of pension age.

The available information is in the following table.

Pension credit overpayment recovery by method of payment: 2007-08

£000

Apr

May

Jun

July

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Payments through banks1

1,614

1,764

1,673

1,651

1,733

1,899

2,488

1,918

1,666

1,820

1,838

1,661

Deduction from benefit

522

514

520

585

521

490

580

498

571

509

517

494

County Court

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

Private Sector

0.4

0.9

0.6

0

0

0

0

3-2

0

0

0.1

0

Other2

89

3-60

127

115

142

116

132

307

93

146

146

56

2008-094

£000

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Payments through banks1

1,757

1,837

1,850

2,175

1,676

1,871

Deduction from benefit

489

487

567

537

545

638

County Court

2

0

0

0

0

0.1

Private Sector

0

0

0

0

0

0

Other2

186

68

129

174

85

196

1 Payment through banks includes cases where payment received via Direct debit,

Standing order, Debit card, Transcash etc.

2 Other includes cash payments and offsets against arrears.

3 Negative figures represent totals following accounting adjustments.

4 2008-09 data is indicative only.