Circular A11/2004

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  • #20206
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Have any VF compliant authorities had any issues with this circular?

    It states that if a pensioner notifies the PS of a change in a private pension, they will take the customer’s word and will not be verifying the info. I rang DWP who confirmed this and also said that to conform to VF, we would have to make our own arrangements!

    I therefore wrote a procedure advising that where the PS notify us of a c.o.c. to a PP, we will have to write to the customer to obtain proof. One of the benefit managers then raised the issue of all those private pensions that are to be uprated automatically.

    My believe is that, as with all upratings of income at the end of the financial year, we don’t need to verify it.

    With regard to customers notifying PP increases to the PS, we would need to get this verified.

    I desperately need to get this right because our auditors will pick up that we have not verified these incomes and the circular confirms that the PS haven’t either, despite the fact that we have to accept the AIF figures that we receive from them.

    Does anyone have any ideas? (I am waiting for DWP VF Team to get back to me).

    Lisa 😥 :15:

    #2375
    chris harvey
    Participant

    If the customer is on Guarantee Credit they are passported to maximum benefit and we are not obliged not to carry out any means testing. For VF we need to verify they receive GC but not their income or capital.
    If the customer is on Savings Credit only we are obliged to use the AIF figure supplied by the pensions service. If we find out it is wrong we have to inform the Pensions Service but continue to use it until the PS advise us of a change in the AIF. We know the pensions service are disregarding certain changes within their 5 year assessed income period and doing some assumed uprating on private pension cases. For VF I think you need to show evidence that you are using the AIF figure and that is sufficient for income verification purposes. If in the course of a visit or other review we find out the income or capital is different we should inform PS but carry on using the AIF. The only exception relates to if we identify capital over £16,000 in a Savings Credit only case where we can end benefit straight away.
    In conclusion I think for VF we must verify and accept the AIF figure. There is no need to carry out any proactive work with private pension cases but if in the course of a visit or review we come across a difference we inform the PS but carry on using the AIF figure.
    Hopefully the revised VF manual when we get it, will show if this sort of approach is OK.

    #2376
    Mark
    Participant

    “I rang DWP who confirmed this and also said that to conform to VF, we would have to make our own arrangements! ”

    Well – you have my sympathy because someone has led you down the garden path. There is absolutely definitely no need to seek proof of private pensions where Pension Credit is in payment. VF couldn’t demand this even if the DWP wanted it do (they don’t by the way) because it runs entirely counter to Regulation 24 of the HB/CTB State Pension Credit Regulations.

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