Pension credit: the extra financial help retirees don’t know about

Struggling pensioners could win hundreds of pounds if they claim a pension credit – but half of those who qualify never claim it

If only she knew

The number of people claiming pension credit has fallen by 162,000 since February last year, following a drop of 122,000 in 2013.

While the latest quarterly statistical summary from the Department for Work and Pensions may seem like good news in the fight to reduce the benefits bill.

This paints a worrying picture and should be a major cause for concern as thousands more retirees could struggle to make ends meet – simply because they are not claiming the financial assistance to which they are entitled.

The pension credit is not automatic, people have to claim it. Many are completely unaware that they are eligible for this financial assistance, while others are too proud to beg for it.

Research from retirement specialist Just Retirement shows that more than half of those eligible for key senior benefits do not.

And nearly a quarter of those who already applied were receiving less than their full entitlement.

The average amount retirees lose is £763 a year, although the highest amount found by Just Retirement is £2,746, or nearly £53 a week.

Stephen Lowe, Director of Client Insights at Just Retirement, said: “Our latest findings reinforce findings from previous years that large numbers of retirees are missing out on hundreds and in some cases thousands of pounds each year, which could make a huge difference in their quality of life. retirement life”.

Shockingly, 1.6 million pensioners live in poverty, while billions of pounds of pension credit and housing benefit go unclaimed each year.

The pension credit supplements the income of the most vulnerable pensioners and can open the door to other aid for housing costs and council tax.

Find out if you are eligible for benefits by calling Age UK Advice on 0800 1696565 or use the benefits calculator at Age UK.