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The Budget - How it effects Pensioners. State Pension, Pension credit, Winter Fuel Payments, New year payment.


The Government is committed to tackling pensioner poverty, rewarding saving, and
helping people meet their income aspirations in retirement. It does this through providing
incentives for people to save, and supporting all pensioners in retirement, with additional
support targeted on those who need it most. The Government is also taking forward pension
reforms for the long term that will help meet the challenges of an ageing population.

The Government recognises the importance of continuing to support pensioners
appropriately through the global economic downturn and to providing a safety net for the
very poorest. To provide additional support for the poorest pensioner households, the
standard minimum income guarantee in Pension Credit will have an above indexation
increase, rising by £5.95 to £130.00 a week for single pensioners and by £9.10 to £198.45 a
week for pensioner couples.

To support pensioners more broadly, the level of the full State Pension will rise in line
with prices by £4.55 to £95.25 a week in April 2009. For those women whose entitlement is based on their husbands� pension, the full couples� rate increases to £152.30. In addition, in order to provide further support for pensioners during the economic downturn, the Government announces that it will make a payment in the New Year of £60 for each pensioner, equivalent to bringing forward uprating of the basic State Pension from April to January. Around 12.5 million pensioners will benefit. A £60 payment will also be made to 2.5 million individuals who are in receipt of certain other benefits.

Winter Fuel Payments of £200 for households with someone over 60, £300 if over 80,
have been committed for the lifetime of this Parliament. As announced at Budget 2008, this
winter, households with those aged over 60 will receive an additional £50 or £100 for those
with someone aged over 80.


The Government wants to ensure that all pensioners claim the benefits they are
entitled to and are taxed fairly. In October the Government introduced a simplified claims
process for eligible pensioners to claim Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit alongside
Pension Credit. To support those pensioners who pay income tax, the Government will raise
in line with prices the age-related tax allowances in April 2009 to £9,490 for people aged 65
to 74 and to £9,640 for people aged 75 and over. By April 2010 only 40 per cent of pensioners
aged 65 or over will pay income tax.

The Government is launching a campaign to encourage people on low-incomes,
in particular pensioners, to register to receive interest on their bank or building society
accounts tax-free and to claim back any tax they have overpaid. The campaign is aimed at
around 1.5 million pensioners who could be getting more value from their savings every year
by registering to receive their interest tax-free.



 

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