Social Security Benefits: Russia

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 14th July 2022.

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Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Shadow Minister (International Trade)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether any benefit payments made by her Department into a UK bank account have been transferred into a Russian bank account in the last six months.

Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Shadow Minister (International Trade)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department is taking steps to prevent benefit payments made to a UK bank account from transfer into a Russian bank account.

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

The government have imposed sanctions on Russian banks. This means the Department has suspended the payment of the State Pension – the only benefit affected by this action - due to those claimants where payment was going directly to any Russian bank which has been sanctioned under The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. For claimants who are not sanctioned as individuals under the above Regulations, if they open an alternative account with a non-sanctioned bank then payment will resume.

The transfer of payments from a UK account to any other account is by agreement between the claimant and the receiving bank. The department would not be aware and in terms of the individual’s entitlement to the benefit being received, does not need to be aware of any such agreement. If there was an agreement to transfer money to a Russian account, then the banking protocols arising from the above legislation would have applied to regulate the transfer.

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