Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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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?

Replies

  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 9,337 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
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 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.


    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • scotleagscotleag Member Posts: 88 Courageous
  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,300 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.
  • scotleagscotleag Member Posts: 88 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_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @scotleag, just wanted to check in to see how you are doing. :)
    Community Partner
    Scope

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  • scotleagscotleag Member Posts: 88 Courageous
    As well as any of us in the current situation I think. Thanks Chloe
  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 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.
  • scotleagscotleag Member Posts: 88 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
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 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.
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • scotleagscotleag Member Posts: 88 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
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 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.
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • scotleagscotleag Member Posts: 88 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)
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