Pensioners’ savings system under fire

A new savings system for pensioners will “penalise people for
having long-term care needs”, older people’s charity Help the Aged
has warned.

The savings disregard, introduced by the Department of Health, is
linked to the pension credit, a new entitlement for people aged 60
or over which will be introduced in October with a minimum income
guarantee and an additional payment that rewards people according
to their savings.

But the charity believes the government would be “withholding” the
“entitlement” of older people in care homes. This is because the
maximum savings credit available to older people with modest
savings in their own home will be £14.79, while those in care
homes will be able to receive a maximum of only £4.50.

Jonathan Ellis, health and social care policy manager for Help the
Aged, said: “While Help the Aged welcomes the principle that older
people in care homes will be able to keep more of their own money,
we believe that the Department of Health runs the risk of
introducing a system that treats older people in care homes
entirely differently from older people in their own homes, and that
penalises people for having long-term care needs.”

A spokesperson for the DoH said the policy was aimed at tackling
pensioner poverty for those living in the community.

Residents in care homes did not face the same problems with
heating, electricity and bills as those living in their own homes,
the spokesperson added.

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