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Benefit take-up ‘needs to improve’

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The proportion of pensioners living in poverty has fallen but more needs to be done to boost benefit take-up, according to the National Audit Office (NAO).

The NAO said that the percentage of pensioners living in poverty had fallen from 27% in 1994 to 17% in 2005, with means-tested benefits like the Pension Credit playing a big role in reducing the figure.

The NAO said that £6bn was paid out in Pension Credit to 2.7 million households in 2004-05 and between 61% and 69% of those people eligible to receive the credit do receive it.

Sir John Bourn, head of the NAO, said: “I am pleased to see that more than one million more households received Pension Credit than received its predecessor, the Minimum Income Guarantee.”

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