Pensioners have started receiving payments of up to £600 to help them with the cost of living throughout the winter.
The government says around 11.5 million pensioners will be receiving the winter fuel payments for the second year running.
The winter fuel payments come on top of the additional £300 provided per household through the pensioner cost of living payment and will land in bank accounts automatically over the next two months, the Department for Work and Pensions said.
Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said: “We have delivered on our promise to halve inflation and will continue to support people right across the country, including pensioners who may be facing particular challenges over the colder months.
“As well as up to £600 to help our pensioners stay warm this winter, we’re boosting pensions through the triple lock – increasing the full rate of the new state pension by over £900 next year.”
In the autumn statement delivered this week, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced pensions are set to increase by 8.5% to £221.20 a week from April as the triple lock is maintained.
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The triple lock is a government promise to raise publicly funded pensions by the level of average earnings, inflation or 2.5% – whichever is the highest.
The triple lock was designed to ensure people’s pensions were not affected by gradual rises in the cost of living over time, but there have been questions as to whether the government would stick to the manifesto promise given that pay and inflation are running at higher levels than usual.
The winter fuel payments will appear in bank statements with the payment reference starting with the customer’s National Insurance number followed by ‘DWP WFP’ for people in Great Britain, or ‘DFC WFP’ for people in Northern Ireland.
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