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DWP Debt Management & Pension Credit

Oldestrocker
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Principal - Forensic Accountants, Canterbury

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I have had a call from a client that I have worked with for years as regards his previous businesses.
Seems that he has been receiving Pension Credit jointly with his wife since 2016. Unfortunately he failed to notify the Pension Service of changes to his income over the four years since. All came about that he did not consider it necessary to advise the DWP when less tax was deducted in some months on all of his 6 private annuities.
The Pension Service state that any change, be it only for 1p must be notified.
Result of this is a £550 overpayment demand that is said to be repayable.

Subsequently he has cancelled the Pension Credit claim as he does not feel that he is able or want to continually contact the DWP up to 6 times every month due to the variation in tax deducted. He was forced to accept deductions from his claim at the rate of £22? a week. He has now been warned that these deductions will be taken from his State Pension.

Being the stubborn individual that he is he has threatened the Pension Service that if need be he will cancel his State Pension payments.

If he does this would Debt Management then start making deductions from his wife’s State Pension or would they go for his PIP award?

I really need to convince the guy that he is being a complete prat!

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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Yes, they can and will seek to recover from State Pension, PIP and because PC was claimed as a couple, potentially they could also seek to recover from wife’s State Pension. They could also, ultimately, seek a Court Order.

Her’s cutting his nose to spite his face here. DWP Debt Management might consider waiving recovery of the overpayment and the sun might rise in the west tomorrow morning.

Chrissum
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WRAMAS, Bristol City Council

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When in 2016 did his claim start? I’m thinking that if it is was before April, he may have had an assessed income period and as changes to annuities form part of retirement provision he would have been under no obligation to declare them.

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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Yes, good point actually, AIP’s were abolished with effect from 6 April 2016 so worth checking.

Gareth Morgan
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Managing director - Ferret, Cardiff

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Paul_Treloar_AgeUK - 30 January 2020 04:13 PM

Yes, good point actually, AIP’s were abolished with effect from 6 April 2016 so worth checking.

No new ones were set after that date but existing ones continued.  Fixed period AIPs have now expired but indefinite ones (for over 75s) still continue.

Oldestrocker
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Principal - Forensic Accountants, Canterbury

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Thanks everyone for your valuable input. The original claim for PC was made in 2013 and they did have an AIP which ceased in 2016. It is from the cessation of that AIP that he continually failed to notify the Pension Service every month when there were increases in his annuities together with all of the variations of the amount of tax that was deducted from them. Any variation in each month that together increased the income by a 1p or more should have been notified.
In my opinion if that meant 6 or more letters/telephone calls it should have been done.
In fact the overpayment calculations start off in 2016 for a month or two at an increase of 4p a week that was not disclosed at the appropriate time. This then rises to just over £7 a week by the end of 2019.

The sun will always rise in the East as far as Debt Management are concerned!
My job is now to convince him to hold fire, forget about the PC claim if he cannot or will not comply with what is required of him and to just pay the debt which is actually correct - congratulations to the Pension Service! Thankfully he has ‘got away’ with a Civil Penalty on the basis of poor health and should count himself lucky.