Pension Credit CUTBACK Announced ! Kiss Goodbye To Anything Upto £ 7,000 After 15 May!

Yep , good job I check the main news sites more than once a day ?

Brexit … ideal time to slip this one in ?

_Government " Sneaks out " £7,000 pension cut for poorest elderly couples ahead of Brexit vote.

Ministers accused of attempting to bury the harsh impact of the change to pension credit.

Poorer pensioner couples will lose more than £7,000 a year, under a cut “sneaked out” while MPs are preparing for the showdown Brexit vote.

Ministers have been accused of attempting to bury the impact of the change to pension credit, which tops up the incomes of hard-up elderly people.

It means couples where only one partner is over the state pension age, which is now 65 for both men and women, will no longer receive the extra benefit.

It will take effect from 15 May, when the partner below the pension age is required to make a claim for universal credit, which merges six working-age benefits into a single payment.

“This change to the benefit rules means that some couples could lose thousands of pounds depending on whether their claim falls a day before or a day after the May deadline,” warned Sir Steve Webb, a former pensions minister.

“People who may be affected deserve to know about this change and not have it sneaked out on a day when ministers were no doubt hoping that everyone’s attention was directed somewhere else.”

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) quietly revealed the cut in a written Commons statement at 7.20pm on Monday evening – as MPs held talks ahead of the meaningful vote on Theresa May‘s Brexit deal.

Sir Steve, now director of policy at mutual life, pensions and investment company Royal London, said the DWP had said it was “considering” how universal credit would affect pension credit as recently as last month.

He said a couple expecting to receive £13,273 in the 2019-20 financial year from pension credit would see that figure fall to just £5,986.68 under universal credit.

In the statement, Guy Opperman, the pensions minister, argued parliament had voted, in 2012 to “modernise the welfare system” to give the affected couples support “through the working age benefit regime”.

“This replaces the previous system whereby the household could access either pension credit and pension age housing benefit, or working-age benefits,” he said.

“Pension credit is designed to provide long-term support for pensioner households who are no longer economically active. It is not designed to support working age claimants.

“This change will ensure that the same work incentives apply to the younger partner as apply to other people of the same age, and taxpayer support is directed where it is needed most.”

Mr Opperman argued he had already announced that the “this change would be implemented once universal credit was available nationally for new claims”.

He added: “Today I can confirm that this change will be introduced from 15 May 2019.”

The new lower rate of pension credit will also apply where there is a break in a claim – after a temporary increase in income, for example – before a fresh claim is made._**

Universal Credit … a whole army of nasties under that one creation.

I did warn all and sundry when starting the main UC thread.

More paying attention now ???

Many more of you will be caught under UC before long :\

Needless to add , effects the poorest the hardest !!!

Ive been watching the sneaky blighters sliding in a vote before Brexit.
Another cut for a group of the poorest members of society. A £7000 cut will be catastrophic.

Does this cut also apply if either of the two is a carer to the other one?
Where the younger is the carer or the older one is the carer.

Unknown as I type , Colin.

I suspect no category will be spared … the key is the operative date.

Be interesting to see if CUK elect to issue a press release vis-a-vis their take on this.

Im not sure. This is part of separate taxation and benefits and pensions that today’s equal women want. If anything they shouldnt have paid pensiin credits to a couple, at a couples rate when one of them wasnt even retired yet. Having said that though, the thinking does seem muddled as they mention carers allowance being regarded as the pensioners income, yet it can’t be paid after state retirement age anyway :unamused:

Shades of 2009 re-revisited … CarerWatch days … and the work some of us put into the argument for taking family / kinship carers OUT of the then current benefits system … by creating a separate category emboded in a " Carers Charter " … defining exactly what / who we were , our " Rights " ( Yes … actual rights ) , remuneration based on a formula linked to average earnings … and a whole lot more … recognition of our place / role in society !
We were close but … being close is NOT good enough … we failed !

At least we tried … CUK / Carers Trust merely observers.

More on that posted on the other recent thread mentioned at the end of the first posting.

All for nothing some 10 years on … carers back in Universal Credit … adjustments being made to shoe horn the pension differentials into one seething mess of the individual benefits which , collectively , make up Universal Credit.

With the main Opposition party waiting in the wings … with a current pledge to " Reverse " Universal Credit … months , even years before we see any real form of a system that can be understood by all even if it doesn’t work in practice for many.

While all this is going on , and the uncertainty caused by Brexit , day to day life is even more difficult as may be evidenced in both the main HOUSING and FOODBANK threads.

At least Universal Credit has been halted … the casualties in their thousands being counted … at least for now.

I hope they can remove the current psychopaths from government.
As we know UC has so far cost more than if they left welfare as it was. This government are very good at moving money from tax payers into the pockets of global private companies and their wealthy shareholders. The usual corporate service company suspects. It was interesting to see that Cameron borrowed more money in his 4 or 5 years in office than Labour borrowed in 13 years of government. The Tories have been borrowing vast sums of money to add to the public debts and throwing it around like confetti. Having being in the construction profession I still keep a keen eye on where the Tories are spending vast sums of money. It is horrific absolutely horrific the way they have increased public debt liability.

This morning’s Guardian :

**Benefits rule changes could cost pensioners in UK thousands a year.

From 15 May, new pensioners with partners under 65 can no longer claim pension credit.**


**_Thousands of poorer UK pensioners who have partners of working age could lose up to £7,000 a year in top-ups as a result of imminent rule changes that will require them to claim universal credit as a couple.

Changes slipped out on Monday night by the Department for Work and Pensions mean that from 15 May, new pensioners whose partners are younger than the state retirement age of 65 can no longer claim a means-tested top-up called pension credit.

Instead they will be forced to claim the much less generous universal credit alongside their younger partners.

The couple rate of universal credit is £114.81 a week compared with £255.25 for a couple receiving pension credit. This amounts to a potential loss of £7,320 a year.

Age UK described the change as a “substantial stealth cut” and said it could have a devastating effect on the health and wellbeing of some older people and increase the numbers of pensioners in poverty.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director, said: “It is by no means unusual for one partner to be slightly older than the other within relationships and the bigger the age gap between them, the more long-lasting the adverse impact on them will be because of this proposed change.

“That’s why this government policy has been dubbed ‘the toy boy tax’ by some – but that’s not to trivialise the really serious impact it is likely to have on anyone unlucky enough to be subjected to it. For some, the impact will be truly devastating. The government should think again.”

The scale of the potential losses faced by couples could put pressure on existing relationships, say experts, and may persuade them that they cannot afford to marry or move in together.

The average age gap for mixed-age couples is 2.6 years, meaning the cash loss incurred before the younger partner becomes old enough to claim pension credit could be £19,000. Where the gap is greater the potential total lost will be more.

Age UK said pensioners may find themselves in the “absurd position” of being financially better off if they split up and live apart from their partner.

A single person who claims the top-up is eligible for £167.25 a week in pension credit, meaning that in theory a pensioner will be better off staying “solo” for benefit purposes rather than claiming with a partner.

Gareth Morgan, a benefits expert, said a single person getting pension credit who forms a relationship with a person of working age would lose their entitlement to that benefit and would have to claim universal credit as a couple.

However, if they were to separate again, even if they remained living in the same home but as separate households, their total incomes would increase substantially. This is because a single person’s pension credit combined with a single person’s universal credit amounts to more than a couple’s universal credit payment.

“It would be surprising if the DWP didn’t have to make substantial numbers of assessments about the genuineness of relationship breakdowns,” said Morgan.
Currently, people who reach retirement age and are eligible can claim pension credit regardless of the age of their partner. In future they will have to wait until their partner also reaches 65, although the state retirement age will be increased to 66 in October 2020.

Couples with one partner under state pension age who are already in receipt of pension credit will be unaffected. But they will be moved to the new system if their circumstances change, such as a change of address, or even if the pensioner partner goes abroad for longer than a month.

If a mixed-age couple claim universal credit, the pensioner partner will not be required to look for work as a condition, unlike working-age claimants. The government says the younger partner’s claimant conditions will be tailored to meet the couple’s circumstances.
The pension credit change has been in place since the Welfare Reform Act 2012, but ministers put off its introduction until universal credit was fully rolled out. > Last month universal credit moved into every Jobcentre Plus area of the UK._**

Shades of the debacle a generation or so ago when it was more advantageous for families to live apart as the level of benefits so payable to " Single " persons produced a higher sum.

Time to get this one back on top.

NOBODY affected ???

Hi all,
Newbie here just settling in. When I first heard about this, I had to put the emergency brown trousers on - but I think we’re OK (that’s myself & Mrs-K). Mrs-K is younger than me, and I retired a few years ago. She gets PIP and I get Carer Premium (added to the Pension Credit). We receive my State Pension plus Pension Credit as a couple, and at first it looked as though all this was going to change and Mrs-K was going to have to apply for UC.

However - as I now understand it - this new rule only applies to new applicants - so as long as we don’t have to re-apply, we have (hopefully so far) escaped this. I can only suggest to those who may fall foul of this new rule to try and make sure that they do not delay in getting any and all applications in as early as possible - although I guess that it is basically dependent upon your birthdate(s) - so maybe there isn’t much you can do about it.

I do hope and pray, though, that over the coming weeks we might find ourselves with a government that recognises that for any civilisation to survive, it must accept that the term “Survival of the fittest” implies that those who are incapable of empathy or compassion are unfit themselves to run anything other than a one-man-band. Civilisation is an orchestra, and it needs a conductor who realises that we all play our part, and are each here for a reason.

Sorry for the rant - but I hope my thoughts might help some folks who are still wearing those brown trousers !

So far Bill, you’re the first one to pick up on this thread … 32 days after I started it.

Let’s hope that those out there not picking up threads posted for their benefit spot one before it too late ?

I guess that carers and disability sufferers are being hit by so many heartless cutbacks these days, Chris, that they often just don’t have the time to check this stuff out until the reality hits them in a couple of months or so. You guys will probably have to ‘get busy with the fizzy’ then !

FWIW, some of the self-help forums operate FaceBook & Twitter pages - so maybe CarersUK might be able to do some ‘outreach’ that way ?

An earlier comment by MrsAverage in this thread has prompted me to start a thread here concerning the strange notion that CA is classed as ‘taxable income.’ It is only paid if the carer is actually ‘caring’ for a minimum of 35 hrs per week, as I understand. At the current CA rate, that is less than £2 per hour !!!

Yep … what I / we post on the forum in respect of news goes mostly unread … apathy rules supreme in CarerLand over the past decade.

We can only do so much … like watching lambs going to the slaughterhouse without a bleat.

As for Carers UK , a law unto themselves … they tend to do what they want to do.

Carers Allowance rate per hour ?

Even split within the £ 63.50 per week rate … only 1 in 11 of the 7.8 million carer army claim it in the first place.

35 hours minimum … £ 1.81 per hour

24 / 7 carers … I was one … deduct time sleeping ( Say 7 hours daily … in deference to the recent Sleepover Judgement )
53p per hour.

So … maximum £ 1.81minimum 53p … most will fall between the two.

As for senior citizen carers … £ NIL per hour !
( By contrast , UK prisoners : The Justice Secretary will announce that under his plan, prisoners could get the minimum wage of £5.60 an hour. )

So when my wife hits retirement age (if she ever does at the current rate, bless her) - I guess her PIP will stop, and so will my CA (which is already reduced to £36 Carer Premium). Have I got that right ?

When is this going to happen - do you know, Chris ?

PIP on reaching one’s state retirement age ?


Although you must make a PIP claim before you reach 65, once you are awarded PIP, it can continue to be paid after 65 as long as you continue to satisfy the entitlement conditions.

Carers Premium would continue so long as PIP is being paid.

Once your own state pension kicks in , kiss goodye to CA and CP.

Prisoners ?

Unknown but … I suspect soon … upto date details are scarce even with an Internet search.

Carers Allowance … taxable ?

In some cases , yes … personal allowance is £ 11,850 before Income Tax kicks in.

If one has other income amounting to … say £ 8,549 per annum … CA ( £ 3,302 per annum ) would then ignite Income Tax.

Apologies for veering off-topic with this.

Well, that’s a relief, Chris. I haven’t even dared to check the PIP rules for that (and I should have done, really). So it’s the same principle as applies to the forthcoming Pension Credit/U.C. changes, in that if we are already receiving PIP/Pension Credit/CA, then we get to be ‘waved through.’ ! :arrow_right:
Phew… Yet again, I must count my blessings. :whistle:

Now this puzzles me a little. I got full CA originally, but now I’m getting State Pension & Pension Credit (PC), the CA disappeared, but the PC was increased by adding the Carer Premium (CP) amount. So - unless I have got it wrong (quite likely) - I think our Pension Credit ‘ceiling’ got lifted by £36 p/w at that point, and still remains.

Yeah, sorry - I really meant “Technically taxable.” It is counted toward any other (similarly ‘taxable’) income we receive or earn - but for those of us who are well below the Income Tax threshold, there is no real impact, I agree. But it is this “Technically taxable” categorisation which I have an issue with as regards the level of CA which is statutorily paid - and I must continue this rant in another thread ASAP !

Technically taxable ?

Yes … the two keys … other income and the first band of Income Tax.

Under that , no Income Tax.

Over that , Income Tax is payable.

Bill … have you crunched some numbers through an Online Benefits Calculator ?

Should confirm your own take on this.

Any abnormalities shown up ?

CA is classed as ‘Taxable Income,’ I believe, Chris. Sure - us guys on the shop floor don’t usually actually have to pay tax on it because of the ‘two keys’ which you mention. No argument with you there - and I’m well below that threshold myself. I am in fact not arguing - but taking the label of ‘Taxable Income’ and following that through in what I believe to be a logical sequence.

I fear I haven’t made my point clear here, Chris. An online benefit calculator will tell me that I am ‘doin’ OK.’
Here’s my point - are we really ‘doin’ OK’ when we are getting paid less than the minimum wage per hour for what is classed as ‘taxable income’ ? That is earnings, isn’t it ?
Sure - if we were working in some illegal sweat-shop in Calcutta for that wage, then perhaps we might have a case against our employer. But who is our employer in this case ? It is whoever pays us this pitiful ‘Carer’s Allowance’ in place of the professional wage that they would have had to pay for professional care not that long ago - and then has the audacity to try and tax us on that as well !

Hi Bill … your last bit… last full sp on this aspect coming right up … and it’s a heavyweight :

Note the date … exactly what was proposed … and the methologoly used to determine our " Place " in
the scheme of things.

As far as I am aware , nothing this major ever since.

I am sure that your blood pressure will rise … in line with any other reader !

So many questions … and NO answers since that time !

CarerWatch had a go during the last Carers Strategy across the whole spectrum … but failed … in 2009.

( I am the last of the CarerWatch crew still active. )

Anytime the word CARERS is mentioned in the House , that Report is the cornerstone !!!

For us , the original Carers Letter in 2009 … now morphed into our " Lord Kitch " … everything that is wrong in CarerLand
under one thread … factually correct … and in PLAIN English :

It is fair to conclude that all family / kinship carers have been screwed by all and sundry since we were " Created " over 40
years ago.

As we " Save " the taxpayers some £ 140m BILLION per year , who is brave enough in political circles to change that ?

… and win a majority in the House on that mandate ???

I’ve said this for 15+ years … the words of a judge are our strongest ally … and … pehaps … the only ally.

Green Paper / Carers Strategy later this year … once that is published … it will be Goodnight Vienna for a generation !

The heading of that thread says it all … in my opinion.

WOW ! You have given me some bed-time reading there, Chris - thank you (I think ? :open_mouth: !!!) I think I can now see that I am just a ‘Johnny-Come-Lately’ keyboard warrior rattling a lone sabre - when the likes of yourself and others have already fought that battle a decade ago. I’ll read up on what looks like a large part of your own ‘forum memoirs’ - and report back.

“I may be some time…” :frowning:

Take all the time you need Bill.

It is a long read … frustrating read … and history of carers as dictated by the Government through the DWP.

Mainly all me as I’m the only one left … nobody else seems at all interested in expanding on the work I and others did ,
and mainly regurgitate now in the light of the conditions in 2019.

Still … it’s their funeral … not mine.

CarerWatch … always willing to let any reader see our archives … will show what a dedicated group could
achieve … looking back , and with what we had at our disposal , we certainly punched above our weight.

Just let me know.

To understand today , one must know what went on yesterday.