Pensioners failing to claim
12th August 2015
Age UK has suggested that many pensioners are missing out on an annual £3.7 billion of cash that is available to ease their financial hardships. The poorest of pensioners are able to claim pension credit in order to top up their income, although 1.3 million of those entitled failed to take up this benefit in 2013/14. A further 260,000 pensioners also missed out on housing benefits during this same timeframe, which is a sacrifice of £820 million in total.
With so many older people able to significantly improve their quality of life with home stairlifts and other purchases, it is important that they are made aware of these available benefits to ensure that they are not missing out on vital money. Due to this, Age UK is hoping to encourage the government to tackle pensioner poverty and create awareness of these available benefits.
Poor pensioners could be entitled to more help than realised
Pension credit is available in two parts; guarantee and savings. One tops up the older person’s weekly income, while the other provides an extra payment for those who saved up towards retirement. Find out if you’re eligible by using the gov.uk pension credit calculator here.
The incomes of older people are falling faster than those in the top or middle income groups, meaning inequality among pensioners is increasing. There are currently 1.6 million older people in the UK who are very poor and struggling to make ends meet, which will continue to increase if nothing is done in order to help.
However, the basic state pension is now higher relative to average earnings than it has been for 20 years, and pensioners are still entitled to support with free prescriptions, bus passes and winter fuel payments.
Pensions Minister Ros Altmann told the Daily Mail: “Older people who have worked hard all their lives, and contributed to our society and economy over many decades, deserve to be looked after in their retirement.”
Image Credit: Howard Lake (Flickr.com)
This content was written by Emily Bray. Please feel free to visit my Google + profile to read more stories.
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