One million Britons deprived of pension credit

The pension credit is an underclaimed benefit, with only around 60% of people entitled to it, Hargreaves Lansdown said. Photo: Getty

One million people in the UK may not qualify for retirement credit, according to a new study by Hargreaves Lansdown,

The pension credit is a benefit for retirees that supplements weekly income up to a minimum amount to help cover the living costs of low-income people.

However, this is an unclaimed benefit, with only around 60% of those entitled to it claiming it, Hargreaves Lansdown said.

The pension credit brings the weekly pension amount to £ 177.10 for singles and brings the joint weekly income to £ 270.30 for couples.

Pension credit is separate from your state pension, and you can still receive pension credit even if you have other income, savings, or own your own home.

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The amount can be topped up further for caregivers and beneficiaries can also get housing allowance, mortgage interest assistance, local tax reduction, dental assistance from the NHS , glasses and transport costs for hospital appointments and help with heating costs.

An estimated 1.47 million people will be claiming a pension credit in 2021/22, according to figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on Friday.

Helen Morrissey, Senior Pensions and Retirement Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “A lot of people don’t realize they are entitled to a retirement credit and are at risk of missing out on a much needed boost to their retirement income.

“The retirement credit also serves as a gateway to other benefits, with those over 75 able to get a free TV license, for example. You can also get help with heating and municipal taxes, which can potentially be a massive help.

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“Some people just don’t know there is a pension credit while others don’t realize they qualify. For example, you may still be eligible for the pension credit if you own your own home or have savings.

“With inflation really starting to show its teeth and energy bills on the rise, many retirees are facing a real squeeze in income over the next few months and any additional income is welcome.

“Anyone who thinks they qualify for a pension credit should contact DWP. Even if you’ve been turned down in the past, a change in circumstances may mean you’re now eligible, so it’s worth checking out. “

You can apply for a pension credit up to four months before reaching the legal retirement age, which is currently 66, and requests can be made online, by phone or by mail.

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