According to official figures low-income pensioners are failing to claim pension credit, a £1.6 billion in pension credit is going unclaimed each year nearly 1 million pensioner households miss out an average of £1,600.
The lowest of all means-tested benefits is pension credit take-up with 40% of those eligible failing to claim.
Since 2020 take-up of pension credit had been around 60% and the efforts by the Government to improve it have not helped.
Ros Altmann, former pensions minister said, “The barriers to take up include complexity, form-filling aversion, reluctant to provide information and the lack of knowledge of amounts available”.
“Pensioners do find form filling off putting and too proud to apply for help or think they are not eligible, but they may not realise that they could have up to £10,000 in savings and still be eligible for small amounts of pension credit and may also be entitled to many other valuable benefits worth thousands of pounds per year”.
Pension credit tops up a single pensioners income to £177.10 a week and for couples £270.30.
AgeUK charity is working to make sure UK pensioners know about pensions credit due to the worrying figures in the number of UK pensioners living in poverty.
The ONS figures recorded 2.1 million pensioners are living in poverty which is up from 1.6 million a few years ago.
27% which is more than a quarter of pensioners are living on less than 70% of median income after housing costs, with 36^ of single pensioners and 31% of over 80s also affected.
Ethnic background is also a factor, as 40% from Black, Asian and Indian backgrounds live on less than 70% of median income.
Pension credit rules changed back in the 2019 and used to be available to pensioners who reach state pension age regardless of their partner’s age.
Under the new rules that were introduced in May 2019, pension age partner will be forced to claim working-age benefits alongside their younger partners instead.
This is about access to information and making sure potential claimants have been informed of their position.