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Potential HB and PC overpayment due to unclaimed workplace pension?

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  • Potential HB and PC overpayment due to unclaimed workplace pension?

    My father retired in 2015 and started claiming his state pension, as well as HB and PC. While he was working he paid into a private pension until 2005, when he was made redundant. Soon after he cashed this in as a lump sum, and we believed that was the end of his private pension. My parents didn't even think of private pensions, at least until recently, since as it turns out this was only one of two private pensions he had, the other (the one in question here) being as much as £50000 if cashed as a lump sum. Nice surprise we thought when we found this out, but it seems very likely Dad might be liable for all payments of Housing Benefit and Pension Credit he may have received from between 2015 and now.

    Most frustratingly, it seems Dad was receiving annual statements from the pension provider for this fund, but never took any notice of them, believing they were relating to the pension he had cashed in in 2005!

    So my very simple question is - will the DWP and local council try to claim this money back when he gets his lump sum, and will this be classified as benefit fraud (my parents and I were genuinely unaware of the existence of this pension)?

    I realise this seems like an unusual situation but I would appreciate some answers/guidance.
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