HC Deb 28 March 2003 vol 402 c440W
Matthew Taylor

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to his answer of 10 March 2003,Official Report column 94W, on the state pension, what assumptions on take up of the pension credit he made in coming to his answer; what other assumptions not listed in the footnotes were made for the purpose of arriving at his answer; and if he will make a statement. [103816]

Mr. McCartney

In arriving at the answer previously given, the minimum income guarantee was assumed to remain in place at recent take-up rates; and the saving from not introducing pension credit was assumed to be worth £2 billion in its first full year, based on a planning assumption of around 70 per cent. take-up by case load.

David Davis

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what measures the Department has taken to publicise the pension credit. [105199]

Mr. McCartney

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State wrote to all MPs on 17 March outlining how we are planning to ensure Pension Credit take-on is completed successfully. To support the take-on of Pension Credit a marketing campaign has been developed that seeks to address the specific needs of pensioners and those who support them such as family and friends.

The core of the campaign involves contacting all pensioner households by direct mail and inviting them to make their applications by telephone. In this way we can support and complete the application form for them. The Pension Service will start writing to pensioner households to invite applications in April 2003 and plans to complete this activity in June 2004. This systematic approach will be supported by regional and national advertising around the launch of Pension Credit in October when it becomes payable.

By working with local partners the Pension Service will be able to help vulnerable pensioners or those who need to overcome barriers that might prevent them from applying.

To ensure pensioners do not lose out, a 12 month backdating provision will exist until October 2004. This will allow applications to be backdated to October 2003 where entitlement exists.

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