30 January 2009: For Immediate Release
Select Committee to inquire into Tackling Pensioner Poverty in Great Britain
The Work and Pensions Committee today announced an inquiry "Tackling Pensioner Poverty in Great Britain" The Committee welcomes submissions, in accordance with the guidelines set out below, with particular reference to the following key areas:
1. What more does DWP need to do to address pensioner poverty? Are there specific groups who are more vulnerable to facing poverty in old age?
2 . Impact of the financial crisis on pensioner poverty - for example on savings income and on older people nearing retirement. Is "lifestyling" enough to mitigate the effects? What is the potential impact of the financial crisis on annuity rates? How will the financial crisis impact upon the numbers of pension credit claims?
3. Benefits take-up - why do some people not take up their entitlement to benefits (e.g. Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit) and how can take up rates be improved? What impact will the pilots for automatic take up proposed in the Welfare Reform Bill have on pension credit take up?
4. Basic State Pension - will the 2010 changes create a fairer state pension system?
5. Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance and Carer's Allowance- Are the eligibility rules and rates for the respective benefits sufficient? Are these rules and application processes understood by pensioners who claim them?
6. Are lump sum payments, such as the Winter Fuel Payment, an appropriate way of addressing pensioner poverty?
7. Is the Government's programme of welfare reform the right approach for supporting pensioners who wish to continue working?
The Committee seeks written contributions on this issue from interested organisations and individuals. The deadline for written evidence is Monday 2nd March 2009. Oral evidence sessions will take place after Easter.
Each submission should:
begin with a short summary in bullet point form;
have numbered paragraphs; and
be in Word format with no use of colour/logos.
A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to [email protected] and marked 'Tackling Pensioner Poverty in Great Britain'.