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850,000 pensioners missing out on £1.7 billion of Pension Credit

DB pensions transfer advice puzzle

-A third of those entitled to claim – about 850,000 families – are failing to claim

-Average loss of £1,900 a year with £1.7 billion in total going unclaimed

-Cost of living crisis increases need for pensioners to make sure they are aware of their benefits entitlement

Income-poor pensioners are missing out on an average of £1,900 a year from the State according to latest government figures with 850,000 families missing out on a total of £1.7bn of financial support.

Commenting on the release of the DWP’s estimates of benefits take-up, Stephen Lowe, group communications director at retirement specialist Just Group, said: “Pension Credit is designed to top-up the incomes of the poorest pensioners but a third of those entitled to claim – about 850,000 families – are failing to claim.

“There is up to £1.7bn of cash that is not being received, an average of around £1,900 a family.

“The human story to this is the hundreds of thousands of people who are struggling to make ends meet who may not realise financial help is available or do not know how to navigate the system.

“Pensioners are facing a steep increase in inflation which could rise to over 7% this year according to the Bank of England – that would outstrip by some margin the one-off ‘double lock’ State Pension increase of 3.1% that is coming in April.

“As the cost-of-living crisis starts to bite, and with pensioners heavily impacted by rocketing energy bills, it is more important than ever that people who may be struggling for income are aware of the benefits available to them and how they can claim.

“There are a range of free resources to help people and families can use a variety of online resources to check if they suspect elderly relatives may be missing out on valuable help. The government web site has links to useful third-party calculators (https://www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators) while other sources are Citizens Advice, local councils and charities.”

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