Over 40% of pensioners missing out on benefit claims

08 Jan 2021

As many as 42% of pensioner homeowners are not claiming the state benefits to which they are entitled.

This is according to research from Just Group and its annual State Benefits Insight report, which showed these households are missing around £830 a year in additional income.

Furthermore, says Pensions Age, the report revealed that although 20% of pensioner homeowners were claiming benefits, they were not receiving the full amounts they were entitled to, thereby missing an average of £702 in extra income each year.

The most common overlooked benefit was savings pension credit, with just 33% of eligible pensioners receiving this benefit, whilst those missing out were losing £576 per year on average.

In addition, only 47% of people were claiming council tax reductions, with a shortfall of an average £796 a year.

The main benefit with the highest uptake was guaranteed pension credit, with 80% claiming, whilst those failing to claim were missing an average of £2,656 per year.

According to Just Group group communications director, Stephen Lowe: “Once again we have found meaningful sums that would make a massive difference to people’s lives are not being claimed.

“It reflects the government’s own figures that show billions go unclaimed and raises serious questions about whether people in most need are able to navigate the complexities of the benefits system.”

Royal London pension specialist, Helen Morrissey said: “These benefits have the potential to make a very real difference to the lifestyles of the poorest pensioners and yet take up has remained stubbornly low for years. Pension credit also acts as a gateway to further benefits – most notably the free TV licence which has been limited to those aged 75 on pension credit.

“The government did launch a campaign aimed at raising awareness last year, but this will have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic – it must make renewed efforts to reach those affected and prevent millions of pensioners from missing out on money they are entitled to.”