Pension credit claimants fall for third straight year

“The 15% of pensioners who are eligible for guaranteed pension credit but do not apply for it lose on average almost £1,700 per year per household”

This is the third annual drop in the number of claimants and is down from almost 2 million since 2016. It also shows that women have a higher take-up rate than men, representing nearly two-thirds (64%) of claimants.

Recent research by Just Group found that 46% of eligible retired homeowners claim no state benefits and a further 18% claim but receive less than they are entitled to.

Data shows that those who claim nothing each lose an average of £1,423 a year per household, while those who receive too little claim £2,102 a year.

The pension savings credit has the lowest take-up rate, at just 21%, followed by the council tax reduction, which is claimed by 42% of those eligible. Guaranteed Pension Credit has the highest take-up of the three main benefits at 85%, but those who don’t claim it lose an average of £1,690 a year and those who don’t get all they are entitled to should receive £2,281 per year. year more.

Additionally, in a recent series of roadshows for financial journalists, 54% of advisers surveyed said they had worked with consumers who were not claiming all of their benefit entitlements.

69% of advisors surveyed at the Roadshows said they regularly discuss benefit entitlement with your clients who have reached or are approaching retirement age and 19% said they do so “sometimes”. Only 12% of advisors do not regularly discuss benefit entitlements with their elderly clients.

When asked why some consumers don’t claim the benefits they’re entitled to, 79% said there was a lack of information about what was available and 41% thought the claim process was too complicated. .

29% said there is an assumption that being a landlord means you are not entitled to any benefits and 21% believe there is still a stigma surrounding benefit claimants.

Stephen Lowe, Group Communications Director at Just Group, commented: “We like to think that state benefits reach those who need them most, but that’s clearly not the case with pension credit. The 15% of pensioners who are eligible for guaranteed pension credit but who don’t claimers lose nearly £1,700 per year per household on average, while the 79% who do not claim the Savings Pension Credit lose £453.

“With many retirees struggling to make ends meet, this should be a wake-up call for everyone to check their own eligibility. In the world of often complex retirement finance decisions, that’s one thing. simple that could enormously benefit retirees.

“This reiterates the need for Pension Wise to include advice on state benefits in the information they offer.”