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Transitioning from ESA to state pension

Another thread prompted me to start thinking about ESA and state pension. I've still got around 18 months to go before reaching pension age. I'm currently receiving income-related ESA (Support Group) and if I'm honest with myself I think it's highly unlikely I'll be able to return to work before reaching pension age.

I've checked out the pension calculator and I'll receive a full state pension so don't think I'll be eligible for pension credit. My concerns relate to how to transition and how my partner affects things.

Firstly, what happens? Do I have to contact DHSC or is the change done automatically - i.e I stop getting ESA on my 66th birthday and start getting pension instead?

My wife is six months younger than me so obviously won't receive her own pension until she reaches pension age. What happens in the interim? My pension will be more than current ESA so on the face of it we wouldn't be entitled to any additional benefit. BUT.... my wife receives carer's allowance for me and before she started getting this my ESA was ABOVE what I'll receive in pension. My understanding is that carer's allowance ends at retirement age.

Does she stop receiving carer's allowance when I'm 66? Or is it when she reaches that age?

If the former then we will be worse off than what we were receiving from ESA before the carer's allowance started. Surely that's not right? 

If the latter then what? I'm not going to magically need to stop receiving care when my wife turns 66. Will my wife be expected to carry on as my carer but unpaid?
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Comments

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 12,951 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @scotleag Its good your starting to think about your retirement situation so you can plan ahead.

    Im not sure how it all works but I am sure Poppy will be able to help you out when she sees this post

    Hope you get the answers you need
    I have professional experience in HR within public,  private, and charity sectors.  If I can help I will 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,885 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,


    As your partner is younger than you then you won't be able to claim for pension credit because of the new mixed aged couples rule, which is here. https://www.turn2us.org.uk/About-Us/News/Changes-to-Pension-Credit-for-Mixed-Age-Couples

    As your wife is younger than you then she can continue to claim carers allowance until she reaches state pension age.

    Whether you'll be entitled to any Universal Credit to top up your income when the time comes will totally depend on your circumstances but your state pension will be deducted £1 for £1 from your maximum entitlement.

    My advice nearer the time will be to speak to an advice agency near you.


  • scotleag
    scotleag Member Posts: 127 Courageous
  • wilko
    wilko Member Posts: 2,432 Disability Gamechanger
    It’s a difficult time for many people like you. Your state pension is coming soon and if you have a private pension with the current financial situation and the COVID pandemic the financial markets are up and down what we thought we where going to get may have changed a lot in the last few months, I am in the same position as you except spring next year. On paper looks ok even if we have to pay the rent and council tax, but things can and could change big time.
  • scotleag
    scotleag Member Posts: 127 Courageous
    TBH it's not something I've given a great deal of thought hitherto. I suppose like many I don't want to admit advancing years but it gets to a point when I have to admit the old bald guy staring at me in the mirror isn't my dad after all. Take your point about how things can change & hope all goes well for you next year
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,565 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @scotleag, just wanted to check in to see how you are doing. :)
    Scope

  • scotleag
    scotleag Member Posts: 127 Courageous
    As well as any of us in the current situation I think. Thanks Chloe
  • Topkitten
    Topkitten Member Posts: 1,285 Pioneering
    I am in much the same situation and am very concerned. I'm not on ESA at the moment because I still have some savings but I doubt it will last the 2 years until I retire. What concerns me the most is that I used to get various reductions (rent and so on) because I was on ESA and with what they are now then my pension (state or private) wont cover it. The idea that I wont be able to manage is terrifying.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • scotleag
    scotleag Member Posts: 127 Courageous
    I think the rules are different wrt pension for housing benefit/council tax in that the savings threshold is higher though I can't quote chapter and verse so it may be worth having a look at that. Depending on amount it's possible that what's too much to receive anything now may be eligible for support upon receipt of pension
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,885 Disability Gamechanger
    scotleag said:
    I think the rules are different wrt pension for housing benefit/council tax in that the savings threshold is higher though I can't quote chapter and verse so it may be worth having a look at that. Depending on amount it's possible that what's too much to receive anything now may be eligible for support upon receipt of pension

    For those claiming state pension the savings/capital rules are different. The first £10,000 is ignored. For any savings over this amount your means tested benefits reduce by £1 for every £500 over that amount. Of course as it's still 18 months before you claim state pension then the rules may well change by then.
  • scotleag
    scotleag Member Posts: 127 Courageous
    Thank you. I was thinking of @Topkitten who doesn't qualify for anything now. That's based on 6K savings & £1 per £250 after that. 10K & £1 per £500 is quite a difference though of course anyone over the 'limit'  (16K though I don't know if that's the same for pensions) wouldn't be eligible
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,885 Disability Gamechanger
    There's no £16,000 limit when you're state pension age, it's £10,000 with the reduction when you have in excess of that amount. Topkitten doesn't claim state pension for another 2 years so any advice given now may not apply at that time.
  • scotleag
    scotleag Member Posts: 127 Courageous
    Yes, I know topkitten's situation. It was whether or not there was an upper limit post-pension I didn't know. That there isn't could make a massive difference. Anyone with 16K savings now isn't eligible for say housing benefit at all. The same situation with a pension and all other things being equal is a reduction of £12 per week. (6K 'excess' at £1 per £500 above 10k). Or to put it another way a £12 deduction pre-pension kicks in 9K savings (3K 'excess' at £1 per £250 above 6K)
  • scotleag
    scotleag Member Posts: 127 Courageous
    Ah well, here we are fifteen months on from the initial post and still none the wiser as the dreaded retirement date creeps ever nearer - a mere four months now. I contacted AGE UK whose advice was to speak to CAB who said they didn't really know what happens WRT housing benefit & council tax during the six months between me receiving my pension and my wife receiving hers. What was theoretical & advance planning when I started this thread is now very real. @poppy123456 advice about my wife continuing to receive carer's allowance has helped clear that up but there are still questions no one seems able to answer and it's beginning to prey on my mind a lot.

    To sum up what I DO know is:

    We are not eligible for Pension Credit either after I receive the pension, my wife receives hers or the interim period.

    We would not be eligible for UC post-pension. Ironically enough if I'd been moved from ESA to UC we'd have received £15 pw more, £35 pw when the uplift applied. That's annoying but nothing can be done about it.

    We continue to be eligible for housing benefit and council tax reductions but at reduced rates.

    What I DON'T KNOW is
    Whether the council automatically apply reductions when I reach pension age and again after my wife does or whether I have to notify them and provide evidence of changes. 

    Crucially, how much we lose both after I receive the pension and again after my wife does.

    Whether my wife has to notify carer's allowance of her imminent pension date when that gets close or whether that is done automatically. Likewise the council.

    Further, when exploring how the pension will be paid I find there is no option to receive it weekly and it's paid four weeks in arrears. Also, it appears the first payment won't include the period between reaching pension age and normal payment date.

    I've checked my payment date based on final two digits of my NI number and find there's a five-day gap (inclusive) between my reaching 66 and what would be my normal payment day. Looking at ESA payment dates there's going to be a four weeks gap between final ESA payment and first pension one. That's bad enough when you're budgeting on a basis of payments every fortnight but I can adjust for that now that I know this will happen. But this five-day period is concerning. As far as I can see ESA payments will cover up to and including the day before my 66th birthday but I won't be entitled to my pension until five days after that. 

    Surely that can't be right?

    I don't think I'm a stupid person but this is just all so confusing. All I'm trying to do is to work out our entitlement, make sure all appropriate authorities are made aware of changes at the right time and begin to budget ahead for these changes. It really shouldn't be as hard as this.
      

  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,441 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 10
    scotleag said:
    We continue to be eligible for housing benefit and council tax reductions but at reduced rates.
    I think that may be correct. When you reach pension age you will not be eligible for housing benefit until your wife also reaches pension age unless you are in supported accommodation. If not eligible for HB any help with rent would be through UC but obviously entitlement depends on your other income.

    When you reach pension age the council will recalculate your CTR entitlement. Although the council should be able to access the information you should inform them of your pension when you know the details.

    Carer's Allowance should pick up when your wife reaches pension age. However it would be prudent for them to highlight the change to them. She will retain an 'underlying entitlement' to CA even though she will stop receiving it. 

    I've been trying to check your concern about a possible gap between ESA ending and pension entitlement starting. I think SP is calculated at a daily rate from the day you reach pension age and there is therefore no gap and you may get a part payment before you get the first regular payment. 
    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1031355/dmgch8.pdf

    08055 SP is paid at a daily rate where
    1. the day on which the claimant’s first benefit week begins is after

    1.1 the day on which the claimant reaches pensionable age

    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Teddybear12
    Teddybear12 Member Posts: 1,496 Pioneering
    Hi @scotleag Once you receive your State pension you could be eligible for Attendance Allowance see the link.  https://www.gov.uk/attendanceallowance . Have a look and see if you would fit the criterion. Good luck. Take care.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,885 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @scotleag Once you receive your State pension you could be eligible for Attendance Allowance see the link.  https://www.gov.uk/attendanceallowance . Have a look and see if you would fit the criterion. Good luck. Take care.
    They are already claiming either mid/high rate care DLA or PIP daily living because their wife is claiming carers allowance for looking after them.
  • scotleag
    scotleag Member Posts: 127 Courageous
    This is the example given here https://www.gov.uk/state-pension/what-youll-get

    Example

    You reach State Pension age on Monday 16 December 2013 and your first payday is a Friday.

    The first full week ending on a Friday after the Monday you reached State Pension age is Saturday 21 December to Friday 27 December.

    You will not be paid between 16 December and 21 December because this is less than one week.

    The basic State Pension is usually paid every 4 weeks into an account of your choice. You’re paid ‘in arrears’, which means you’re paid for the last 4 weeks, not for the coming 4 weeks.

    In my particular case I reach pension age on a Saturday and my payday is a Thursday so the first FULL week ending on a Thursday would start from the Friday following my qualifying date. Therefore I will lose the qualifying day plus Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday of the following week - SIX DAYS in total. This strikes me as random and totally unfair. Some people will lose one day, others up to seven depending on when their birthday falls and when their payday is.

    What you said about housing benefit ending really worries me. If I've read it right then housing benefit ends when I hit the pension and I have to apply for UC. That sounds a nightmarish concept for the sake of six months (when my wife reaches pension age) before becoming eligible for housing benefit again. Do I apply on my 66th birthday or in advance? My normal housing benefit payment would fall two days after I reach 66. Presumably I'd get a part payment up to the day before my 66th birthday but then I have to apply for UC, then notify them again just over three weeks later when the 2022-23 pension rise kicks in as my income will have risen (i.e. BEFORE receiving the first UC payment). Then a few months later end the UC claim and make a fresh application for housing benefit when my wife reaches 66.

    The thought of having to go through fresh applications twice - for UC then a new HB claim - and all the hassle that goes with it  - documents, bank statements etc - is absolutely horrific. I was worried enough about what was going to happen but had no idea housing benefit would end.


  • scotleag
    scotleag Member Posts: 127 Courageous
    Hi @poppy123456 & @Teddybear12 thank you. I'm afraid the link you both supplied doesn't work. There's a 404 message there. 

    Is this me getting another assumption wrong? I had assumed my wife would continue to get carer's allowance until her 66th birthday.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,885 Disability Gamechanger
    scotleag said:
    Hi @poppy123456 & @Teddybear12 thank you. I'm afraid the link you both supplied doesn't work. There's a 404 message there. 

    Is this me getting another assumption wrong? I had assumed my wife would continue to get carer's allowance until her 66th birthday.
    The link that was posted by teddybear is a link for Attendance allowance, which doesn’t apply to you because you’re already claiming either PIP or DLA.

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