Thousands of pensioners receiving no state pension at all
As many as 100,000 older people who receive no state pension may be missing out on money they are entitled to, a new report from pension consultancy LCP has suggested.
The report notes that according to official figures there are around 250,000 people over 70 who currently receive no state pension. It notes that there are legitimate reasons why this may be the case for some of those people, from deferred payments to gaps in National Insurance records.
However, LCP argues that older people that fall into these groups likely represent only a minority of those who do not receive anything in the way of a state pension, suggesting that thousands are being wrongfully excluded.
The authors note that for the over-80s, there is a non-contributory state pension in place, which is designed to ensure that you receive something even if you do not have an extensive National Insurance record.
And yet LCP’s analysis found that there are 107,000 people aged over 80 ‒ more than 65,000 of whom who are women ‒ who currently receive no state pension, despite the existence of this non-contributory state pension.
The firm argues that a large number of these older people could make a claim for category D state pension, which would see them receive £82.45 per week.
While the normal state pension rises by a minimum of 2.5% a year thanks to the triple lock, it is still far from enough to secure a comfortable retirement. Indeed, it’s notable that many of us over-estimate just how generous it is.
LCP suggested that a big problem here is the fact that the over-80s who receive no state pension have to actively make a claim for a category D state pension. The firm argued that a lack of awareness around this support, coupled with practical barriers and the potential for those at that age to have reduced mental capacity and the ability to cope with such admin, will have impeded take-up.
It called for a focused campaign raising awareness among older people, targeted at local authorities and heath services who deal with the over-80s, as well as floating the idea of removing the need to make an actual claim for category D pensions, instead paying them automatically to those eligible.
Steve Webb, partner at LCP and the former pensions minister, said it was hard to understand why more than 100,000 people over the age of 80 are still receiving nothing in the way of a state pension.
He continued: “The Government needs to do much more to identify those who are on zero state pensions and to make sure that they draw the pension to which they are entitled.”