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Benefits: Overseas Recipients

Volume 702: debated on Tuesday 24 June 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answers by Lord McKenzie of Luton on 5 June (WA 69–71) concerning benefits and pensions paid abroad, how they ensure that pensions are paid in full to entitled people in Ireland; and how they ascertain that such recipients are still alive. [HL4184]

The UK and Ireland apply EU Regulation 1408/71 which seeks to co-ordinate the various EU member states' social security schemes. The regulation protects the rights of social security claimants by providing that a claim to state pension in any member state can be treated as a claim in any other member state where entitlement might exist.

Death of a customer is normally reported to the department by relatives or executors. The department has a programme of life certification to provide an assurance that customers continue to be entitled to receive their pension. It is planned to reduce the need for life certification for Irish customers by exchanging data on mutual customers with the Irish authorities. Officials are currently addressing legal, technical and security issues to enable the agreement to be implemented.