HL Deb 26 January 2004 vol 656 c11WA
Lord Taylor of Warwick

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What plans they have to remedy the situation where 4.9 million pensioners are eligible for pension credit this tax year, yet only 2.53 million are receiving it. [HL772]

Baroness Mollis of Heigham

The Government have set a target for at least 3 million pensioner households, corresponding to around 3.7 million individuals, to be in receipt of pension credit by 2006. We want all those eligible for pension credit to take up their entitlement. We are on course to meet the 2006 target.

A direct mail pack to pensioner households remains at the heart of our marketing campaign for pension credit. We will have written to all identified pensioner households by June 2004. Our TV and press advertising campaign continues during this year, helping to ensure that both pensioners and their families are fully aware of pension credit and how to apply for it.

We are supplementing this activity with follow-up direct mail contact in appropriate cases, in addition to personal contact with those identified as being particularly likely to be eligible. At local level, the local service staff of the Pension Service will continue to work with external organisations to ensure that we reach those pensioners considered least likely to apply. Our campaign is designed to produce a steady buildup of new pension credit households and we will ensure that progress towards achieving our target is maintained during 2004.