DWP – ACCESS TO PENSION POTS – 20 March 2014

Dr Julian Lewis: I am genuinely not sure what the previous position was on whether the pension pots of elderly people going into residential care contributed towards the total assets they were allowed to retain before they got help from the state. If that was separate and did not count, will the fact that pension pots can now be turned into cash disadvantage people going into residential care in terms of the assets they can retain, or will the situation remain unchanged from their point of view?

[The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Steve Webb): The interaction between these measures and the funding of long-term care is important. There are various rules. If someone takes their pension pot as income, it will be counted as income in the means testing for residential care. If they have capital assets, we assess them on a different basis. We have to make sure that these measures are joined up with our policy on long-term care so that we have the right outcome. What we hope will happen is that new financial products will allow people to use their pot to possibly get care insurance as well. The industry has asked for this; now it has to raise its game.]