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Pension Credit Week of Action: Don’t miss out on £3,500 income boost

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

It’s Pension Credit Week of Action – a Government-led initiative to boost the uptake of this valuable benefit. You may think you’re not eligible, but check as hundreds of thousands are missing out.

An estimated 1.4 million retirees are eligible for Pension Credit, but around half are currently struggling in poverty unnecessarily when they could claim the benefit.

It’s worth up to £201 per week and an average of £3,500 a year, plus claiming Pension Credit also acts as a gateway for other perks such as the free TV licence, council tax help and cost of living payments from the Government.

If you or a relative/friend earn under £220 a week (single) or £320 a week for a couple, check to see if you’re eligible.

It will top up your income to £201 or £306.85 if you have a partner, while those with a disability or care responsibilities could get an extra £42 to £76 more each week.

Even if you own your own home, get the state pension or have other income or savings, it’s worth checking the Government’s online pension credit calculator to see if you’re eligible.

Pensioner poverty tragedy

Alice Guy, head of pensions and savings at Interactive Investor, said: “It’s a tragedy that many pensioners are living unnecessarily in poverty due to not claiming Pension Credit. Many people shy away from claiming Pension Credit due to the admin hassle or perceived stigma in claiming benefits. Others don’t apply simply because they don’t realise they might qualify.

“Pension Credit provides a lifeline to pensioners on a low income, giving them dignity in retirement. Many people haven’t built up a full state pension entitlement due to time out of the workplace such as through disability or caring for loved ones. Pensioners have fewer options to make up for reduced income as they often don’t have the energy for physical jobs and may still face age discrimination in the workplace.”

Guy added that for those struggling with the forms, charities like Citizens Advice will help you find out if you’re eligible and assist you with your claim.

Stephen Lowe, group communications director at retirement specialist Just Group, added: “As the cost-of-living pressures like rising food and energy prices are still squeezing pensioner budgets, it is crucial that those most in need are not missing out on the important income boost that Pension Credit can provide plus the additional benefits that are unlocked by claiming it.

“People should not assume that because they own their home, they are no longer eligible for State Benefits. We know that there are many homeowner retirees on low incomes and during Pension Credit Week of Action, we would urge them to check if they could claim additional income.”