How much revenue would a State Pension High Income Charge (HIC), one similar to Child Benefit HIC, raise?

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Dear HM Treasury,

Re: Questions relating to revenue raised by a hyperthetical State Pension High Income Charge (SPHIC), one similar to Child Benefit HIC (CBHIC).

Preamble: To cite HMRC Child Benefit Statistics Small Area Data 2016 Appendix A: "Child Benefit (CB) was introduced in 1977. It replaced Family Allowance, which was a benefit payable to families with 2 or more children whereas CB includes all families with 1 child or more. CB is designed to help with the extra costs of bringing up a child. It is a benefit payable to all qualifying parents/guardians in the United Kingdom. From January 2013, if a claimant of CB or their partner has an individual income of more than £50,000 per year, they will be liable to repay some or all of their Child Benefit due to the introduction of the High Income Child Benefit charge. Claimants affected by the High Income Child Benefit charge [(CBHIC)] have the option to opt-out of receiving Child Benefit." To further cite cm199899/cmselect/cmsocsec/114/144a02.htm - "The objective of Child Benefit is to make a contribution towards the cost of a child. Take-up of the benefit is consistently above 98 per cent of eligible families." "As a largely universal, fixed rate benefit, Child Benefit is relatively cheap to administer and achieves a high rate of accuracy in decision making."

(Q1) How many recipients of the State Pension have an individual income of more than £50,000 a year, using the same basis as CBHIC (adjusted net income)?

(Q2) How many recipients of the State Pension have an individual income, excluding the State Pension itself, of more than £50,000 a year, using the same basis as CBHIC (adjusted net income)?

(Q3) How many recipients of the State Pension have an individual income of more than £1,000,000 a year, on the same basis as CBHIC (adjusted net income)?

(Q4) What is the cost to the Treasury of the payments made to those recipients identified in (Q1), (Q2) and (Q3)?

(Q5) If State Pension payments where tapered at 1% for each £100 of income above £50,000 a year, that is on the same basis as the CBHIC, what would be the annual cost saving to the Treasury? An estimated answer would be perfectly acceptable.

(Q6) Are any internal papers on such a charge available? If so please publish copies.

(Q7) Is the internal working name of any such charge the State Pension High Income Charge?

Should resources constrain your answer, please prioritise (Q5) an estimate of annual cost saving of a SPHIC - a charge similar to the CBHIC but clawing back the State Pension from High Income individuals.

Yours faithfully,

Jonathan Vyse

FOI Requests, HM Treasury

Our ref: FOI2023/04347

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