To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 2 November 2020 to Question 106889 on State Retirement Pensions, how many people were having deductions and adjustments made to their State Pension payments by her Department to repay claimant debts owed to Government on the most recent date for which that data is available.
17,215 claimants are currently having deductions made from their State Pension in respect of benefit overpayments or repayment of outstanding Social Fund loans. The figure excludes accounts managed by the Department for Communities.
Regulations allow a number of deductions and adjustments to be made from State Pension. There are also limits on the amount that can be taken. Deductions taken to repay claimant debts owed to Government include those in respect of benefit overpayments and civil and administrative penalties.
All such debts are first notified to the customer in writing; notifications also include information on what action can be taken by the customer if they wish to dispute the amount stated as owing. A further notification is issued before any deductions from State Pension commence.
Anyone unable to afford the rate of recovery proposed is encouraged to contact DWP so an affordable rate of repayment can be negotiated.