Interactive Investor

Pension Credit Week of Action: check your numbers to boost your income

12th June 2023 11:41

by Alice Guy from interactive investor

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A government initiative aims to boost the numbers claiming the benefit.

A happy retiree

interactive investor, the UK’s second-largest direct to consumer platform, comments on Pension Credit Week of Action.

The government initiative aims to boost the numbers claiming pension credit. It’s estimated that 700,000 pensioner households are currently struggling in poverty unnecessarily and could be claiming pension credit. The average pensioner claiming pension credit award gets £3,500 each year, so it’s well worth claiming.

Alice Guy, Head of Pensions and Savings, interactive investor says: “If you’re a pensioner, you should check your pension numbers to see if you could boost your income by applying for pension credit, worth up to £201 per week and an average of £3,500 per for each person claiming.

“Pensioners earning under £220 a week or couples earning under £320 should check or call the pension credit helpline to see if they’re eligible.

“Pension credit works by topping up your income to £201 if you’re single and £306.85 if you have a partner, but you could get around £42 to £76 more each week if you have a disability, you care for someone or you’re responsible for a child. You could be entitled to pension credit even if you get state pension, have other income, savings or own your own home .

“Many people don’t bother claiming if they’ll only get a small amount, but they’re missing out, because pension credit opens the door to many other benefits. People on pension credit could also get help with housing and heating costs, a council tax discount and help with health costs such as hospital transport, dental costs and glasses. There are also £599 additional cost-of-living payments still come later this year and in 2024 for those getting pension credit.

“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.

“Spreading the word or helping an older relative or friend with their claim is a great way to show our love and care.

“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 due to 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.

“Older pensioners who retired before April 2016 may also find themselves on a low income because they were on a different pension system where the basic state pension still pays a maximum of £156.20 per week.

“Don’t be afraid to get help to fill in the forms. Charities such as Citizens Advice will help you find out if you’re eligible and assist you with your claim. You can claim online or on the phone and you can also check the government’s online pension credit calculator to see if you’re eligible.”

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