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Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2010

Section 29: Persons under pensionable age to take part in work-focused interviews etc.

Subsection (2) amends Section 2A of the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 to allow regulations to be made requiring a person who is under 60 years of age who is claiming any one of a number of specified benefits to take part in a work-focused interview, as a condition of continuing to receive the full amount of that benefit.

Subsection (3) amends section 2AA of the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 and extends the requirement so that where the claimant has a partner, and both are under 60 years of age, they are both required to attend work-focused interviews.

The process of equalising state pension age at 65 (as provided by the Pension (Northern Ireland) Order 1995) for both men and women began from 6 April 2010. The state pension age for women will gradually be increased over a 10 year period until it reaches 65.

To reflect these changes, the age at which a person will be required to take part in a work-focused interview will also increase.

Section 29 removes the references in sections 2A and 2AA to a person being under 60 years of age, and replaces them with references to a person who has not attained pensionable age. Subsections (2)(c) and (3)(b) provide a definition of when a man born before 6 April 1955 will be treated as having attained pensionable age.

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