Following the results of the General Election, this policy briefing comes at a time where the future of Winter Fuel Payment is under serious scrutiny. The Democratic Unionist party (DUP), which the Conservative party is seeking to work closely with in government committed to keeping Winter Fuel Payments in their election manifesto.

This analysis considers some of the policy impacts of means-testing; both in terms of the overall consequences for the Exchequer, but also for pensioner households, identifying how different income groups are affected. We consider a number of options for means testing Winter Fuel Payments (WFPs) that could be considered as part of the government’s future policy programme:

  • Withdrawing WFPs from older people who do not receive Pension Credit
  • Withdrawing WFPs from higher rate and additional rate taxpayers
  • Taxing Winter Fuel Payments for all older people who pay tax
  • Restricting WFPs to those aged 75 and over