Pension Credits Not Being Claimed by 1.3 Million

June 26, 2019

As many as 1.3 million people across the UK are not claiming financial support that they are entitled to once they’ve gone beyond pension age.

Pension credits are designed to be a tax-free benefit made available to people on low incomes who are older than the state pension age but roughly four out of 10 people who are eligible for the benefit do not currently receive it.

That situation is making life more difficult than it needs to be from a financial perspective for many thousands of men and women in their sixties, seventies and later life.

Charity groups and consumer champions have been urging people who could be claiming pension credits to do so, especially if they’re finding it tough to get by during retirement.

Individual pension credit claimants are obliged to undergo a form of means testing to establish whether they need the extra support or not but once that process is complete a variety of other benefits are also made available.

So, once you’ve claimed pension credit as a low-income householder, you can also then claim council tax reductions, cold weather payments and access to free dental care.

Recipients of pension credits can also claim access to free TV licenses if they’re over the age of 75, which the rest of the population in that age bracket can no longer claim.

The charity group Independent Age has expressed frustration at the government for what it sees as a lack of action with regards to pension credits.

The organisation has suggested that the authorities are at least in part to blame for a persistent lack of awareness about pension credits among people who would be entitled to them.

“The recent decision to limit the TV license to only those who receive pension credit adds insult to injury to over a million pensioners who between them, due to government inaction, are missing out on a staggering £10m every day that should be in their pockets,” said George McNamara from Independent Age.

Recipients of pension credits get roughly £3,000 worth of state support on average over the course of a full year, according to the government’s own figures.

To find out whether you or someone you know could be eligible to claim pension credits you can visit the ‘pension credit’ part of the government’s website or contact the Pension Service directly by phone.

Joanne Wright

Head Adviser at our Manchester Office

Tel: 0800 001 4247

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