Should Winter Fuel Allowance only be given to those pensioners who need it?
Winter Fuel Payment or Winter Fuel Allowance is an annual payment to help with heating costs, made to households with someone over Pension Credit age.
Under Policy Exchange’s Welfare Manifesto pensioners would be asked to opt-in to receive the Winter Fuel Allowance. Currently, the Winter Fuel Allowance is given to all pensioners regardless of how wealthy they are. The proposals are said to be being actively considered by the Treasury.
Policy Exchange hopes that if pensioners had to opt-in to receive the benefit, the wealthy would decide to forego the payments, which come to between £200 and £300 a year. Poorer pensioners who receive Pension Credit however could keep the automatic payments.
Presenting pensioners with a choice to receive their Winter Fuel Payment could lead to hundreds of millions of pounds worth of savings, and is just one way to root out perceived unfairness.
What are your views? Would you like to have the choice to opt in or out, or do you think it should remain uncharged?