• Research Briefing

    2011 Benefit Uprating

    From April 2011 rates of many benefits and Tax Credits will increase; this will mainly be in line with the 3.1% annual increase in the CPI to September 2010. Exceptionally, this year the basic state retirement pension will be increased by the 4.6%. The Government is committed to a "triple lock" for uprating the basic state pension, which means in future it will be increased by the highest of the increase in earnings, prices (as reflected in the CPI increase) or 2.5%. This year, to ensure the basic state pension is in line with the previous uprating rules, the increase in the RPI is being used. There is a requirement for Pension Credit to be increased in line with earnings. However, to ensure the least well-off pensioners benefit from the triple guarantee, the standard minimum income guarantee in Pension Credit will increase in April 2011 by the cash rise in a full basic State Pension. This note sets out the basis for the April 2011 uprating. It focuses on the Retirement Pension and Pension Credit but also contains a summary of the main benefit and tax credit rates before and after the uprating. Child Benefit is frozen until April 2014.

  • Research Briefing

    Superannuation Bill: Committee Stage Report

    Clause 1 of this Bill would cap compensation payable under the Civil Service Compensation Scheme at a maximum of 12 months’ pay for compulsory redundancy and 15 months’ pay for voluntary exits. Clause 2 provides for clause 1 to expire after 12 months unless repealed, extended or revived using order-making powers. The Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition Government invited the civil service unions to negotiate a “sustainable and practical and practical long-term successor scheme”. On 7 October, the Government announced that it had concluded its negotiations with five of the six unions on a new scheme.

  • Research Briefing

    Superannuation Bill [Bill No 58 of 2010-11]

    This Paper has been written for the Second Reading debate in the House of Commons. Clause 1 of the Bill would cap compensation payable under the Civil Service Compensation Scheme at a maximum of 12 months’ pay for compulsory redundancy and 15 months’ for voluntary exits. Clause 2 provides for clause 1 to expire after 12 months, unless repealed, extended or revived using order-making powers. The Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition Government has invited the civil service unions to negotiate a “sustainable and practical long term successor scheme”.

  • Research Briefing

    2010 Benefit Uprating

    From April 2010 rates of many benefits and Tax Credits will change, mostly they will increase by one of three factors: +2.5% Basic State Pension +1.8% Standard minimum guarantee Pension Credit, Income Support, Council Tax Benefit, Housing Benefit +1.5% Attendance Allowance, Carer's Allowance, Child Benefit, Disability Living Allowance, Working & Child Tax Credits The 1.5% increase is being paid by "bringing forward" a proportion of the increase expected in April 2011. Next year, any increase over 1.5% will be paid in the usual way. For some benefits there is to be no increase in April 2010. For example, pensions on top of the basic state pension (additional pension, increments to the pension, Graduated Retirement Benefit) and dependency increases will remain at the same rates. This note sets out the basis for the April 2010 uprating of the main social security benefits. It focuses on the Retirement Pension and Pension Credit but also contains a summary of the main benefit and tax credit rates before and after the uprating.

  • Research Briefing

    Support for domestic energy users

    This note sets out financial support available to domestic energy consumers, including grants for central heating, insulation, microgeneration equipment and social security measures. It also explains how to seek advice or information about gas and electricity problems from Consumer Direct and the Energy Ombudsman.

  • Research Briefing

    What happens when prices fall?

    Inflation as measured by the RPI was -0.3% in March 2009, the first time it has been negative since 1960. It is likely to continue to be negative for some months to come in 2009 with possible consequences for pensions, benefits and taxes.