Wales: 50% disregard occupational pension/annuity

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by ianjc, May 15, 2018.

  1. ianjc

    ianjc New member

    May 15, 2018
    4
    My Dad moved to a care home with fairly advanced dementia at the beginning of the year. My Mum (continuing to live in the family home) has now gone through the various financial assessments etc.

    The Local Authority has judged that the 50% disregard does not apply to my Dad's occupational pension because it is not an annuity.

    Looking back at posts here I see this is ground that has been covered before, but I could not find a specific reference to the Welsh situation.

    Further the April 2018 guidance document states the following:

    "2.17 Where a person is in a care home and paying half of the value of their occupational pension, personal pension or retirement annuity to their spouse or civil partner the local authority must disregard 50% of its value where it takes an annuity into account."

    So it is not clearly drafted but seems to be being interpreted as the disregard only applies to annuities. It seems odd to me that there should be a distinction on this basis, and I'd be grateful to hear from anyone with similar experiences in Wales.

    Thanks
     
  2. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,374
    Salford
    Hi Ian, welcome to TP
    I don't see how "half of the value of their occupational pension, personal pension or retirement annuity to their spouse or civil partner the local authority must disregard 50% of its value where it takes an annuity into account" works.
    I understand it to mean that an annuity may or may not be taken into account, occupational pensions and personal pensions can/will be halved where an annuity may or may not be taken into account. Possibly some type of annuity are disregarded.
    I'd definitely challenge it as it sound like someone at the LA has got the wrong end of the stick and you need to speak to someone who knows what they're talking about.
    I think if you read it as;
    "half of the value of their occupational pension, personal pension or retirement annuity to their spouse or civil partner the local authority must disregard 50% of its value, where it takes an annuity into account"
    Note the small subtle difference. I've put a comma between the two words "value" and "where" that makes all the difference.
    K
     
  3. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,216
    On my phone so short post but

    Have a look at 3.5 (b)
     
  4. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,374
    Salford
    Or Annex C of the Mandatory Guidance note for the 2014 Care Act, Section 5:
    "5) Only the income of the cared-for person can be taken into account in the financial assessment of what they can afford to pay for their care and support. Where this person receives income as one of a couple, the starting presumption is that the cared-for person has an equal share of the income. A local authority should also consider the implications for the cared-for person’s partner."
    Link below.
    K

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publi...ce/care-and-support-statutory-guidance#AnnexC
     
  5. ianjc

    ianjc New member

    May 15, 2018
    4
    Thanks for the quick responses. Indeed 3.5b looks more definitive. The local authority wrote back stating that as it was an occupational pension the disregard does not apply, but we will respond referring to this and see where we get to.
     
  6. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,216
    OK on digging deeper what you really want to throw at them is The Care and Support (Financial Assessment) (Wales) Regulations 2015 Schedule 1 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/wsi/2015/1844/schedule/1/made)

    Specifically

    Personally I would be hard pressed not to ask them why they think they don't have to follow the regulations and tell them no matter what their decision in this matter you will be reporting them to the appropriate place (ombudsman for whatever is the appropriate body).

    But you might want to simply point out their error, get it fixed and THEN report them. Because I'm sure they have been telling other people this.
     
  7. ianjc

    ianjc New member

    May 15, 2018
    4
    thanks again. Will report back on how we get on
     
  8. ianjc

    ianjc New member

    May 15, 2018
    4
    So we have a negative response.

    They have responded that:

    - 50% of a partners occupational pension can be disregarded if paid to the spouse and would be necessary for the financial maintenance of the spouse who is living at home.
    - based on consideration of my mothers income (which also includes an occupational pension), that there would not be financial hardship without the 50% from my father's occupational pension (as my parents had a joint account, my mother's income was visible to the LA)
    - therefore the decision to take 100% stands.

    They have offered an independent review - but this is primarily for a financial hardship.

    Looking again at Schedule 1 of the 2015 legislation:

    "15.—(1) Subject to sub-paragraphs (2) and (3), where A—

    (a)is not residing with their spouse or civil partner; and

    (b)at least 50% of any occupational pension of A’s, or of any income from a personal pension scheme of A’s, is being paid to, or in respect of, their spouse for that spouse’s maintenance or their civil partner for that civil partner’s maintenance,"

    So it seems that the Local Authority are putting a case forward that the contribution of the occupational pension of my father needs to be towards the maintenance of my mother, and as (in their view) the contribution is not needed for her maintenance, the 50% offset is not justified.

    Many thanks in advance for any additional insight (or even better precedent) on this issue.
     
  9. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,216
    Well good grief. I would suggest calling the help-line (although it's closed today I believe). 0300 222 11 22

    I find it more than a little iffy that they seem to have essentially changed their tune - first of all they wouldn't do it because it wasn't an annuity now they are saying it's because she doesn't need it.
     

Share This Page