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DWP plans to boost pension credit take-up

The Department of Work and Pensions is running a new initiative designed to help promote retirement plann- ing and boost take-up of pension credit.

The study uses financial data of people over 60 already held by Revenue & Customs and uses data-matching to support pension credit take-up campaigns and increase understanding of people who work beyond state pension age as part of the DWP research into retirement planning. It will also be used to support evaluations of effectiveness of welfare to work activity and assist the development of evidenceThe DWP says it is working to increase its understanding of the links between savings held and the benefit system in retirement and how people are using or accumulating savings in retirement.

The DWP also intends to link housing benefit/council tax benefit to the database so it can evaluate policies more effectively and better understand the links between housing benefit and the rest of the welfare system – a move it hopes will aid future policy development.

This follows the launch of the Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study in January 2004 which links information held by the DWP with data from HMRC. The study has already been used to evaluate services and develop evidence based policy in such areas as New Deals and Pathways to Work.

Which? principal policy adviser Mick McAteer says: “Unless the Government does something to address the lack of confidence in pensions, they are not going to even begin to close the savings gap.”

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