Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – 0843 487 1838
Created in 2001, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) covers four operational organisations each with their own clearly defined roles. One of the largest-funded Government departments in the UK, its current head is the former Conservative party leader – MP Iain Duncan-Smith. The department has been scrutinised intently over recent years as the government have sought to aggressively reform the regulations around job seekers allowance – making it harder to gain access to the dole fund as well as capping the levels that people may receive from the service.
This subdivision of the department deals exclusively with those either on or applying for Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA). There are dozens of Jobcentre Plus buildings nationwide – it is mandatory for anyone who is on JSA to report to their nearest centre every week, with new restrictions meaning those on the dole are going to have to report daily. Those who are unemployed so are seeking to sign-on to JSA must also go to the centre for an appointment to assess their eligibility. How much an applicant is eligible for is dependent on a variety of personal circumstances including other earnings, the income of any partner and the quality of residence they currently live in. There are currently more than one million people in the UK who claim the government-funded benefit.
The Pension Service
As might be expected from the title of this sub-department, The Pension Service collects UK employees pensions on behalf of them – usually through National Insurance payments which are automatically deducted from any monthly pay cheque. This can differ for anyone who registers as self-employed in the UK – they are given the option of making National Insurance payments when they come to file their own tax returns each year; choosing not to pay them means that they do not get to save up a pension.
As it currently stands, the UK state pension age is 65 years-old for men with the women’s state pension age set to be raised to the same number. The amount that a recipient can receive at that point will be paid weekly, dependent on how much they paid when they were still working.