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Pension Credit: Overpayments

Volume 505: debated on Wednesday 3 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for what reason her Department's estimate of the proportion of pension credit benefit expenditure overpayments rose in each year since 2007; and what steps she plans to take to (a) improve levels of accuracy in forecasting such over expenditure and (b) reduce the number of overpayments of pension credit. (311022)

The proportion of Pension Credit benefit expenditure overpayments has fallen since 2006-07 from 5.3 per cent to 5.1 per cent. The available information is provided in the following table.

Estimated Pension Credit overpayments since 2006-07

Fraud and Error (%)








Percentage figures refer to an estimate of the percentage of benefit overpaid during the time period.

The Department does not produce projections for the amount it expects to lose as a result of fraud and error. However, the Department does have a departmental strategic objective to reduce overpayments as a result of fraud, official error and customer error to 1.8 per cent. of total benefit expenditure by March 2011.

We have a comprehensive strategy to reduce fraud and error across the benefits system, including initiatives for pension credit. These include addressing the most common errors through staff training, strengthening the checks that are undertaken before claims are put into payment, and matching our pension credit data against data from other Government and external sources to identify potential overpayments.