Three changes for pensioners announced in today’s Autumn Statement | The Sun

Three changes for pensioners announced in today’s Autumn Statement | The Sun

CHANCELLOR Jeremy Hunt has unveiled three big changes that will affect pensions in today’s Autumn Statement. 

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Hunt delivered his Budget, announcing a series of spending cuts and tax rises. 

In his Autumn Statement Mr Hunt set out a plan “to tackle the cost of living crisis and rebuild our economy”.

Mr Hunt said his priorities are for "stability, growth and public services."

He said: "There is a global energy, inflation and economic crisis. But the British people are tough, inventive and resourceful.

"We aren't immune to the headwinds, but with this plan for stability, growth and public services we will face into the storm."

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Within that plan were several changes for pensioners – here's what they are and how they'll affect you.

Pension triple lock to stay

Mr Hunt also confirmed that the pensions triple lock would stay.

This means millions of pensioners will see an up to £870 rise in their state pension payments next April.

Mr Hunt said: "I can today announce that we will fulfil our pledge to the country to protect the pensions triple lock."

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He added: "To the millions of pensioners who will benefit from this measure I say – now and always, this government is on your side."

The £870 state pension increase has been made in line with September's inflation figures.

These were released last month and showed that inflation has now returned to a 40-year high of 10.1%.

The triple lock on pensions means pensioners are guaranteed a pay rise every year.

It was introduced by the coalition government in 2010 and sees pension payments increase in line with whichever of the following is highest:

  • Earnings – the average percentage growth in wages in Great Britain
  • Prices – the rising cost of living in the UK, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI)
  • 2.5%

The triple lock means the pension payments will rise in 2023 by whichever is highest: earnings, inflation or 2.5%.

It was temporarily halted in April 2022 for a "double lock" and the wage element was withdrawn.

That meant the maximum new state pension amount went from £179.60 to £185.15 per week based on an inflation rate of 3.1% for the previous September.

In 2022, the maximum basic state pension, which is for those with a National Insurance record pre-April 2016, rose from £137.60 to £141.85 a week.

Up to £1,350 in cost of living payments

As bills continue to rise and the weather gets much colder, the Chancellor confirmed that millions of struggling households will receive up to £1,350 in help.

This amount is made up of three cost of living payments: a £900 support payment, the pensioner cost of living payment and then the £150 payment.

You might be entitled to one or all of these, so make sure you check if you're eligible.

Support payment of £900

Those on means-tested benefits will receive the £900 payment.

That includes pensioners on low incomes who get their State Pension payments topped up via a benefit known as Pension Credit.

Those on other benefits are expected to get it too, here's the full list:

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Tax Credits (Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Support
  • Social Fund (Sure Start Maternity Grant, Funeral Payment, Cold Weather Payment)
  • Universal Credit

For the previous payments, you had to be entitled, or later found to be entitled to one of these benefits by a certain date.

This means that even if you already claim benefits you could meet the criteria to be in line with this payment too.

Another £300 payment

Secondly, Mr Hunt is offering pensioners another one-off cost of living payment for £300 – it's for those who normally get the Winter Fuel Payment.

This means you qualify if:

  • you were born on or before September 25, 1956
  • you lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 19 to 25 September 2022 in what is known as the "qualifying week"

The Chancellor confirmed that they will get it next April.

It's not yet known whether households will qualify again in the same way if they normally receive the Winter Fuel Payment.

£150 for those with disabilities

Pensioners with disabilities can get a second £150 cost of living payment.

You'll need to qualify for one of the following:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance for adults
  • Disability Living Allowance for children
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Adult Disability Payment (in Scotland)
  • Child Disability Payment (in Scotland)
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • War Pension Mobility Supplement

Pension credit to rise in line with inflation

Finally, another boost for pensioners includes pension credit.

Mr Hunt said more than one million hard-up pensioners will get an extra £960 a year.

He announced that pension credit will increase by 10.1% – in line with inflation (like the triple lock).

It'll come into effect in April 2023, and the boost for the average pensioner receiving pension credits will go up by £960 for a single pensioner and up to £1470 for a couple.

It boosts the weekly income of the poorest pensioners, currently up to £182.60 for a single person and £278.70 for couples.

According to the government's own figures, around £1.7billion in Pension Credit has gone unclaimed.

To qualify, either you (or your partner if you live with one) must have reached State Pension Age, which is currently set at 66.

You also need to live in England, Scotland or Wales

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Your household income will be calculated when you apply, and if you fall short of the thresholds you will be awarded a top-up amount.

There's more information here on how to apply and to check if you're eligible.

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