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Pensions

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 23 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what estimate she has made of the effect on the level of annual expenditure by her Department of an increase in the trivial commutation limit for stranded pensions in line with (a) earnings and (b) inflation in each of the next three years; (319772)

(2) what assessment she has made of the effect on entitlement to income-related benefits of an annual increase in the trivial commutation limit in line with (a) earnings and (b) inflation in each of the next three years;

(3) whether she plans to increase the level of capital disregard in respect of a trivially-commuted stranded pension pot.

No estimates of the effect on income-related benefits of increasing the trivial commutation limit in line with earnings or inflation have been made.

From November 2009 we have increased the amount of capital completely ignored in the calculation of pension credit and housing and council tax benefit for pensioners from £6,000 to £10,000. This change will benefit around 500,000 pensioners and will mean around 88 per cent. of pension credit recipients will have all of their capital ignored in their pension credit assessment.