Chancellor Alistair Darling has announced that current winter fuel payments will been guaranteed for another year.

As part of his Budget report today, he stated nine million pensioner households will get at least £250 to help with fuel costs in winter, or £400 for over 80s.

The announcement follows the temporary increase in winter fuel payments that has remained in place for the last two years.

Meanwhile, from April 2011 the number of hours over 60s must work to be eligible for tax credits is being reduced from 30 to 16.

The chancellor also stated the Government may make changes to the compulsory retirement age.

Darling said: "We are looking at options which include scrapping the default retirement age [65], raising it, or giving employees stronger rights."

Further reading/Key links

Benefits and Pensions: Benefits Check-up, State Pension Boosting