Failure to claim benefits costing some pensioners more than £1,500 every year

by Brean Horne from Moneywise |

Retired households could boost their income by applying for key state benefits. 

Pensioner homeowners are missing out on thousands of pounds of extra income by failing to claim their full entitlement to state benefits, according to the latest Just Group annual state benefits survey.

Nearly half (46%) of retired homeowners are failing to claim any state benefits at all causing them to miss out on an average of £1,423 in 2019 up from £1,139 the previous year.

The three key state benefits that can be claimed by pensioners are guarantee pension credit, savings pension credit and a council tax reduction.

Guarantee pension credit, which tops up your weekly income, so it reaches a minimum sum set by the government, has the highest take up with 85% of eligible retirees claiming it. 

Those failing to claim guarantee pension credit miss out on an average of £1,690 a year.  

Only 42% of entitled pensioners claim a council tax reduction, losing an average of £801 a year. 

Savings pension credit – an extra payment from the government to reward you for savings towards your retirement – has the lowest take up with just 21% of eligible people claiming.

Failing to claim could cost an individual £453  per year.

Overall 42% of those eligible to claim are missing out on the key benefits, 14% are missing out on two and 1% are missing out on the full three.

Just Group found that some pensioners were missing out on as much as £13,600 a year worth of extra income by failing to claim their full state benefit entitlement.

Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just Group says: “Our benefits survey reflects official figures which show vast amounts go unclaimed.

“For the two elements of Pension Credit, the government estimates about 1.3 million families are failing to claim up to £3.5 billion a year. 

"The low level of take-up for some of the key benefits raises serious questions about the support being given to help people navigate the complexities of the benefits system."

This article was originally published in our sister magazine Moneywise. Click here to subscribe.

These articles are provided for information purposes only. Occasionally, an opinion about whether to buy or sell a specific investment may be provided by third parties. The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument or product, or to adopt any investment strategy as it is not provided based on an assessment of your investing knowledge and experience, your financial situation or your investment objectives. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

Full performance can be found on the company or index summary page on the interactive investor website. Simply click on the company's or index name highlighted in the article.

get more news and expert articles direct to your inbox
Sign up for a free research account and get the latest news and discussion, and create your own Virtual Portfolio
sponsored articles from our partners