Benefits and pension rights: municipal tax reduction, savings credit, pension credit and more

Many retirees fail to claim the various benefits, credits and discounts to which they are entitled. Here’s a rundown of all the help available for older Brits – make sure you don’t miss out.

Retirees do not claim benefits

More than half of eligible retired owners are not claiming their full benefits, according to the latest research from pension firm Just Group.

The company’s latest report found that 42% of eligible older people were not claiming any of the benefits they were entitled to, missing an average of £ 830 per year. Another 20% claim at least part of the benefits they could get, but not all of their rights, missing out on a typical amount of £ 702 per year.

This is all the more worrying as more and more of us are retire with significant debts yet to be settled.

Stephen Lowe, director of group communications at Just Group, said the study showed “significant sums” that would make a real difference to the standard of living of older people are not being claimed.

He added: “This reflects the government’s own figures which show billions go unclaimed and raises serious questions about whether those most in need are able to navigate the complexities of the benefit system.”

The missed benefits

The study notes that the guaranteed pension credit is the main benefit for low-income retirees and that it represents the highest use of the main benefits available to the elderly, with 80% of eligible people requesting it.

However, that means that one in five people on average miss £ 2,656 in extra income per year.

The retirement savings credit has the lowest take-up, at just 33% of those eligible, those who don’t apply are missing £ 576 per year.

The municipal tax reduction also has a low usage rate, at just 47%. Those who do not make a claim face an annual shortfall of an average of £ 796.

It would appear that a major factor in the low uptake of these benefits is that many people have no idea about them or whether they might be eligible for payments.

Lowe added: “Our research last year found that almost half (48%) of homeowners over the age of 65 had never verified their entitlement to state benefits, compared to just one in seven. (14%) who is a tenant. This reinforces the message that benefit information is an integral part of retirement guidance and that those struggling for income should check to see if there is anything missing. “

Claim what you are entitled to

Of course, it’s not just about government help – there are plenty of perks, discounts and incentives available only to older Brits.

Even a little extra financial help can make a huge difference, so we’ve put together a lot of extra benefits that you can enjoy.

Note that some will be available from the age of 50 only, while others are reserved for people aged 60 and over.

If you’ve taken advantage of all the help you can get and are still having trouble, take a look at this guide to increasing your retirement income.

How to apply for credits and benefits

Supplement your retirement income

The Retirement Credit is made up of two parts, namely the Guaranteed Retirement Credit and the Savings Credit.

The Pension Guarantee Credit aims to supplement low income, bringing it to a minimum of £ 177.10 for singles and £ 270.30 for couples.

The savings loan is an additional payment for people who have saved money for retirement, such as an employer pension.

It is worth up to £ 14. 04 for individuals or up to £ 15.71 for couples.

Take a look at this page for see if you can benefit from it.

Get help with your council tax

You could get a helping hand with your council tax through the council tax reduction program. In fact, your bill could be reduced by up to 100%.

What you can get will depend on a multitude of factors, including your location (each municipality runs its own program), your household income, and the level of savings you have.

You can request the reduction of the council tax via this section of the government website.

Read more: 9 Ways to Stretch Your Funds in Retirement

Free prescription

It now costs £ 9.35 for an NHS prescription, but if you’re 60 or over and live in England you won’t have to pay anything.

If you live elsewhere in the UK you are obviously entitled to free prescriptions regardless of your age.

Save on pharmacy drugs with ChemistDirect

Help with your heating

No one should have to choose between heating themselves and eating, which is why the government has put in place a few initiatives to help you cover your heating during the harsh winter months.

Get help heating your home (Image: Shutterstock)

Winter fuel payment

The Winter Fuel Payment helps people born on or before October 5, 1954, stay warm during the winter. The amount of money you get depends on your age and who lives in your house, ranging from £ 100 to £ 300 per year.

The deadline for claiming winter payments is March 31 of each year.

Those who received it in previous years should not have to re-apply – it will be returned to you automatically.

In addition, you should receive it automatically if you meet the age and residency criteria and receive any other government benefit, including state pension, pension credit, jobseeker’s allowance and l employment and support allowance.

Learn more here, or call the Winter Fuel Payment hotline on 0800 731 0160 Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. to claim.

Cold weather payment

You will receive a payment of £ 25 when your local temperature is recorded or is expected to average zero degrees Celsius or lower over seven consecutive days between November 1 and March 31 of each year.

If you are eligible for other income related benefits like the pension credit, you will be eligible for cold weather payments. It will also be paid automatically.

If this is not the case, inform your pension center or your Jobcentre Plus office or if you obtain a universal credit, contact 0800 328 9344.

Discount Hot Houses

You can also get £ 140 off your electricity bill through the Warm Homes Discount program.

It will not be paid to you directly: it is a single lump sum that will be deducted from your electricity bill at some point between September and March.

You will benefit from the reduction if, on July 7, 2019, all of the following conditions apply:

Insulation and heating

You can release attic insulation and other energy efficiency upgrades from your energy supplier under the energy company’s obligation and sometimes through other grants.

Contact the Energy Saving Trust (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) and Nest (Wales) for more information.

Health

Personal independence payment

Personal Independence Payments (PIP), formerly the The Disability Living Allowance will cover you if you have a long-term illness or a disability if you are between 16 and 64 years old.

The financial support you receive depends on how the disease affects you, not the disease itself, but you will receive between £ 23.70 and £ 152.15 per week.

Find out how it will affect you on the Government website.

Attendance allowance

People over 65 can get help with personal care if they are physically or mentally disabled. It is paid at two different rates (higher and lower) and the amount you receive depends on how much care you need.

Other perks you already receive can be scaled up on top of that, but you could get £ 60.00 or £ 89.60 per week as standard, depending on whether you need lower or higher priced care.

Free eye tests for over 60s

Those over 60 can also get free eye tests and there is 20% off eyewear at Specsavers on ranges over 60 to boot.

You can also get help with dental care and travel expenses to the hospital.

To travel

Older Britons can get free or discounted travel on buses and trains (Image: Shutterstock)

Free bus card

Those who live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland are eligible for a free bus pass when they reach the age of 60.

In England, it’s a bit more complicated. Women will get a bus pass when they reach retirement age, while men will only be eligible when they reach retirement age for a woman born on the same day as them.

Get more information on how to apply here.

Senior Card

A Senior Railcard will give you a third off standard and first class fares anytime, off peak and early bird fares and costs just £ 30 for the one year card or £ 70 for the three option. years.

Free passport

British nationals born on or before September 2, 1929 could get a free passport, saving you up to £ 95.

Are you going abroad? Don’t forget travel insurance

Entertainment, shopping and culture

Money projections

Odeon and Vue are hosting cheaper screenings for ‘seniors’ during the week, with a cup of tea and a cookie.

See How to Get Cheap and Free Movie Tickets for more details.

Museums

Many museums offer reductions for seniors. The National Trust also offers a discounted membership.

War pensioners and widows

If your partner died as a result of service in the armed forces or in time of war, you may be entitled to a war widow’s or widower’s pension.

Obtain your claim form from Veterans UK by calling 0808 1914 218.

Home repairs

Age UK offers handyman services in most parts of the country to help older people with small hands-on jobs.

You can enter your zip code on this page to see if it’s available where you live.

They can help with small repairs, installing safety measures like a smoke detector, home security, and energy efficiency checks.

You can call Age UK to see what services they can help you find on 0800 678 1602 or search for your local center online.

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