Govt examining state pension payment options during COVID-19 crisis

The government is “urgently” examining how to provide cash state pension payments to retirees who are self-isolating, according to Pensions Minister Guy Opperman.

Opperman said that the government was “working tirelessly to find solutions” for pensioners who are staying in their homes and might not have access to mainstream banking.

Last week, the government asked around 1.4 million vulnerable people, including those over the age of 70, to remain isolated for their own safety during the next 12 weeks of the pandemic.

He was responding to a question from former Green Party leader, Caroline Lucas, who had asked “if he will issue guidance to pensioners who collect their state pension payments in cash on how they can collect their pension safely” if they needed to stay isolated during the coronavirus outbreak.

Opperman said: “As both the Prime Minister and Chancellor have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19 and we have been clear in our intention that everyone should be supported to do the right thing.”

Recent data from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) showed that the average pensioner income after housing costs increased by just £6 between the 2009/10 and 2018/2019 tax years.

The DWP said this earlier growth reflected increased income from benefits, including the state pension, as well as increased income from occupational pensions.

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