UK pension jackpot looms as 850,000 Brits missing out on £3,300 payment
Recent Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) statistics show around 850,000 people could be eligible for the payment, but they are missing out
A major Pension Credit shake-up is being mooted as thousands of Brits are missing out on payments of up to £3,300.
Recent Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) statistics show around 850,000 people could be eligible for the payment, but they are missing out.
The benefit is one of the most under-claimed in Britain, despite the support it can provide.
It is available to people of state pension age and above, who are on a low income.
Pension Credit experts are now calling for changes to the system, with the aim of making more Brits aware of a potential windfall.
Industry expert Henry Tapper and benefits adviser CEO Gareth Morgan are among those calling for amendments.
Their ‘Pension Credit - it’s for you!’ campaign is aiming to increase the number of Pension Credit participants, while making the claim process more streamlined.
The campaign is being supported by the DWP, Independent Age, Policy in Practice, Virgin Money and inbest.ai.
Henry Tapper, Chair of Pension Playpen, said: "This is a rallying call to the UK’s key influencers, the charities, the banks, the insurers, the pension trusts, the utilities and other services supporting pensioners to support the ‘Pension Credit – it’s for you!’ campaign.
"Around one in three eligible households are currently being failed. These people are missing out on £1.7billion of much needed, unclaimed ‘free money’ that is Pension Credit.
"With the current cost of living crisis, the sense of urgency couldn’t be greater.
"Who are these people? That’s what we plan to find out. Many will have no idea that Pension Credit even exists. Many are women.
"Some may be income poor and housing rich and feel they won’t be eligible, but you can’t buy a sausage with a brick."
Mr Tapper says Pension Credit can be used to open a "door to more" support.
The support could include help with council tax, housing costs and a free TV licence for over-75s.
The campaign outlines a three-step plan to help with increasing Pension Credit claims.
The first step of the plan includes maximising the potential of what is available today in a more effective manner.
The next step involves making plans for technological changes in the future, such as the pension dashboard by 2025.
The final phase of the plan is based on hopes that the Pension Credit application process will become fully automated.
The plan is set up with the aim of Pension Credit finding those who could benefit from the help, as opposed to Brits finding it themselves.
Minister for Pensions, Guy Opperman, told the Daily Express: "We want to ensure pensioners receive all the support to which they are entitled and continue to work closely with stakeholders and others to increase awareness of Pension Credit.
"The latest figures show take up of Pension Credit is at its highest level since 2010, with the number of new claims 30 percent higher in 2021 compared to 2019.
“However, I know there is more work to be done and I look forward to seeing the recommendations that emerge from the feasibility study."