HC Deb 03 February 2004 vol 417 cc836-7W
Mr. Cousins

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what targets exist for backdated awards of retirement pension; and how many such backdated pension awards there were in each month of the 12 months before the most recently available monthly figures. [149642]

Malcolm Wicks

Entitlement to the state pension is dependent on a claim being made for it and the amount is determined in accordance with the legislation. To aid the claim's process the Department sends out a claim pack to those approaching state pension age inviting them to make their claim. It is for the individual to decide whether or not to claim their state pension at state pension age. Some may choose to defer claiming for a variety of reasons, in which case they could get a higher amount of state pension when they do make their claim. It is therefore not appropriate for the Department to set a target.

However, where a person chooses to make a claim after state pension age, his or her state pension can be awarded for up to three months prior to the date of claim subject to the entitlement conditions.

The Department publicises the time limits for claiming state pension and the effects of not doing so on time.

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