Pension credit: Britons urged to claim benefit worth £3,300 a year as a million people miss out | Personal finance | Finance

Many retirees are turning to the state pension, but there could be other supports that could make a real difference. Today is Pension Credit Day of Action, with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) using the day to boost the use of Pension Credit.

The benefit aims to boost the weekly income of the poorest pensioners up to £182.60 for singles, or £278.70 for a couple.

The latest figures from the DWP estimate the pension credit can be worth £3,300 a year for eligible people above the statutory retirement age.

Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Pension Credit is boosting the income of the poorest pensioners and yet it remains woefully under-claimed.

“People often don’t know what pension credit is and there are also several myths that need to be tackled as they prevent people from getting what they are entitled to.”

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A key myth regarding pension credit is that it is not available to people who own their own home, but this is not always the case.

Similarly, people who have savings set aside may qualify for pension credit, as having £10,000 or less in savings and investments does not affect the entitlement.

However, eligibility is broader than often assumed, and pension credit can serve as a real “lifeline” according to experts.

Jenny Holt, Managing Director of Client Savings and Investments at Standard Life, added: “We welcome this initiative to help people of retirement age and on low incomes access this crucial but often misunderstood.

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“The DWP estimates that up to one million pensioner households who qualify for pension credit do not claim it.

“Official figures underline the importance of state benefits for certain groups of pensioner households.

“Nearly 80% of income comes from benefits, including state pensions, for the less well-off retired households, compared to around 15% for those with the highest incomes.

“Credit Retraite can be a real lifeline when times are tough.

The benefit is often described as a ‘gateway’ as it can offer eligible people a wide range of other supports.

Alternatively, individuals can also apply by phone or post if that is more convenient for them.

The government also recently announced that it will provide even more support to pensioners on the lowest incomes throughout the cost of living crisis.

Ms Morrissey explained: “The Government’s recent package of measures to help people cope with rising costs included a £650 payment to people on benefits such as Pension Credit.

“This payment will be split into two installments – one in July and one later in the fall.

“The first payment will only be paid to people who were already benefiting from the pension credit on May 25 or to those whose application was still being assessed on that date.

“However, if you successfully claim the pension credit now, you may qualify for the second payment.

“At a time when inflation is rapidly fueling the prices of basic necessities such as food and energy, the extra money is welcome, and it is to be hoped that the Chancellor’s announcement has prompted more people to check if they are eligible.”