pension planning

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    does your authority intend to provide STATS 123 data for pensioners after Oct, and if so will you be splitting every AIF into separate income codes for input?
    Are you making special provisions to deal with extra enquiries from pensioners for copying?
    are you designing your own form to send to pensioners as an intervention? or waiting for the VF review outcome in September?


    Janis – We won’t be splitting the AIF for non-modified cases. We only have to use the AIF to calculate the benefit.
    Using the AIF will simplify the process, the only reason to input into different income codes would be to enable us to report to the DWP a figure that another arm of the DWP has supplied to us.
    If they want the information surely they can obtain it from the Pension Service.
    Plus what figures would they want from us; the gross figures supplied by the pension service or the net figures?


    New external Q157 makes it clear that STATS 123 requires all the income codes plus the AIF plus the SC.
    q139 says we can send NHB5s to get a two-page report with the same info as an ETD would have
    The details we will get are detailed inQ129 ( gross , net and disregards etc)
    Do we have a statutory duty to provide stats 123?


    For those who are atending the conference on the 27th, two DWP staff responsible for MIS will be answering questions about Pension Credit information requirements (in the IT break-out session).


    On a related topic, will any LA’s be using their discretion to use the pension service’s income and capital details (where there is no entitlement to Pension Credit) on HB/CTB claims ????

    For ease of administration it seems to make sense but I am worried about the LA being responsible for any resulting overpayments if the pension service have made an error !!

    Section 310 of the Pension Credit handbook refers….



    From a pure regs-based standpoint, I think the handbook is right to caution councils about this.

    Reg 23 (over 60s edition) requires the council to adopt the AIF in SC cases but doesn’t say anything about using it for other cases. Reg 24 (over 60s edition) requires the council to calculate or estimate the claimant’s income in the normal over-60s way if s/he isn’t getting GC or SC. I haven’t seen anything in the Regs that allows the council to take a short cut, so if the council decides to use someone else’s already-prepared figures without checking them, that is a conscious choice of the council. It seems to me the council would be to blame if the other person had done something wrong in preparing those figures and the council of its own free will adopted the figures unchecked.

    What the AIF will do for you in such cases is give you something to focus on in your evidence gathering: it’s a start, but no more than that.

    Incidentally, I don’t think the AIF concept is intended as an administrative aid for councils and the DWP. I think it exists to avoid any danger of a worse-off trap for pensioners with incomes in the SC-only margin. If you are getting SC, HB and CTB, you have a combined withdrawal rate of 91p in the £, so it is vital that the DWP and council sing from the same hymn sheet with such a narrow margin of error. But if you don’t qualify for SC, that close co-ordination of figures is no longer so important and responsibility for checking income reverts to the council.

    Having said that, it does seem a shame that the DWP does not appear to be planning any kind of subsidy concession for overpayments caused in this way. As you say, it does make administrative sense to adopt the DWP’s income assessment in a non-AIF case.

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