Universal Credit: Pensioners

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 24th April 2020.

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Photo of Lisa Cameron Lisa Cameron Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Mental Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many pensioners have been required to make a claim for universal credit rather than pension credit due to the fact that their partner did not reach pension age between September and December 2019.

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

From September 2019 to December 2019, there were 2,200 new claims to Universal Credit where one member of the couple was above State Pension age and the other below.

This change in the way support is provided to couples where one partner is below State Pension age will ensure that the same incentives to work and save for retirement apply to the younger partner as apply to other people of the same age. Unlike Pension Credit, which in most cases allows couple to retain only £10 a week of earned income, Universal Credit provides clear incentives for people to find and progress in work.

The younger partner in a mixed-age couple claiming Universal Credit will get the personalised support provided by Work Coaches to help them find and progress in work where appropriate. If the younger partner is unable to work because of disability or caring requirements, additional amounts may be payable and conditionality requirements adjusted. No work-related requirements will be applied to the older partner.

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