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State Pension

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Karamia | 12:35 Sun 28th Jan 2024 | Business & Finance
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I have read that one if the benefits that DWP will be able to investigate is state pension by accessing people's bank accounts. I am confused as to what they would be looking for. I thought everyone with the total NI years is entitled to it regardless of any savings. I do not receive state pension as yet but hoping someone can explain what I am missing.



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might be able to explain better if you could provide a link?

Since the DWP is paying it, they must know how much they have paid and to whom, so I don't really see the point in them going to the trouble of accessing bank accounts.

More likely looking for people getting pension credit which is linked

And as you say, it is not means tested, so I don't know aht else they need to know.

HMRC need to know because the State Pension forms part of your taxable income. But they know anyway because the DWP informs them round about February each year. Recipients are then told of their new income tax code (thus learning how much their pension will be before the DWP tells them) in readiness for the following April.


There are two rates of pension now I get paid at the old rate, my daughter gets the higher new rate. When fill ing forms in to make a claim for pension credit   some people might say that they are getting the lower pension when actually they are getting the higher rate. That's probably why proof is needed. Just a thought.

It's only for means tested benefits including pension credit. They already had some access to some info as that's how they knew some had savings too high for means tested benefits 

//There are two rates of pension now I get paid at the old rate, my daughter gets the higher new rate//

Yes - younger pensioners obviously need more to live on don't they!!!!

Aren't they allowed to access claimants' bank accounts at the moment?

Although that seems a plausible explanation wouldn't the DWP simply ask the HMRC which they were on ? Bank account access seems a bit off.

It's Pension Credit and other means-tested benefits that are under scrutiny, not State Pension or Retirement Pension.

Although DWP knows what benefits are being paid, it relies on claimants telling it if their savings reach a level affecting the rate of benefit they're entitled to.

The proposal is the banks notify DWP if the savings are above the amount allowed by DWP.

They will also notitify DWP if transactions suggest the claimant is outwith Great Britain as that might affect entitlement to certain benefits.

They are making sure people who claim pension credit aren't earning an undeclared income from AirB&B, renting out the caravan, trading on eBay etc 

To provide some clarification here . . .

If the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill gets through Parliament in the form that's currently proposed by the Government, the DWP will have the power to monitor the bank accounts of anyone who is in receipt of any form of 'benefit' (including the State Pension), even where such benefits are not means-tested:

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mel Stride, has stated that, in practice, such powers would only ever be used where there is a suspicion of fraud:

However, given that the DWP can already obtain information about benefit claimants' bank accounts when they have reason to suspect that fraud is taking place, it seems hard to work out why they should need any new powers unless they actually want to access such information under other circumstances.

So, hidden swiss bank accounts now de rigueur for all pensioners ?

One often wonders why the government is regularly adding new laws for things already covered by existing law. Perhaps to justify their own existence (since they do b all but chat and make promises on the issues we want actually sorted).

The onus will be  on the banks to notify DWP if the account holds more than the amount that would result in benefits being affected.

If money is being withdrawn or deposited outwith Great Britain, the banks would be expected to notify DWP.

CHRIS, the link you gave is misleading since both state pension and retirement pension are not means-tested, it's just that pensioners might also have entitlement to Pension Credit.

HMRC is notified by banks and building societies about interest on money held and that is then passed to DWP.

The problem with that is HMRC is telt only annually so by the time they tell DWP, there could have been a whole year's worth of benefit overpaid and HMRC would not be aware of any money in current accounts if it attracts no interest.

DWP can already ask for financial information about that is only if they already have a suspicion of fraud. 

They "could" use the powers to identify gifts made in the 7 years prior to death which may incur liability to IHT & have not been notified by the executors. 

How else would they find out about such gifts? (I'm asking)

I'm not sure if Pension Credit is means tested. When I had a query with DWP I rang them and we went through things  and it turned out I wasn't entitled to it. I also filled a form in on line and same result. It seems to me that it depends on how honestly the questions are answered. 

Pension credit is means tested, my oldsters can't get it because they are a pound or two a week above the threshold.  They have no savings and no other assets.

If the question were about your wealth & income and you didn't get it then it IS means tested!

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