Pension Credit: Expert discusses those not claiming benefit
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At present, Pension Credit is the most under claimed benefit in the United Kingdom, despite the support it can provide. The payment is made available to people of state pension age and above, who are on a low income.
Recent DWP statistics have shown the payment could be worth upwards of £3,300, but many people are failing to claim it.
Now, pension industry veteran Henry Tapper, and benefits adviser CEO Gareth Morgan are calling for a change to the way the system runs.
Their campaign ‘Pension Credit – it’s for you!’ aims to increase participation of Pension Credit, and make the application process more streamlined.
It is being supported by the Department for Work and Pensions (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.
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“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 explained Pension Credit often serves as the “door to more” support, as entitlement can open Britons up to a host of support.
This includes help with council tax, housing costs, and the all-important free TV licence for over 75s.
The campaign is a three step process designed to help increase the take-up of Pension Credit.
Firstly, the plan is to use what is available today in a better and more effective way.
The second step involves planning towards technological advances in the future, such as the pension dashboard by 2025.
It is hoped the dashboard points Britons towards the opportunity to secure “free money”.
Finally, it is hoped the Pension Credit application process will become fully automated.
In this process, the dashboard could ask an applicant for permission to find further data necessary for the completion of the task.
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It would mean Pension Credit would find those who could benefit from the help, rather than Britons having to search it out themselves.
The reasons for the failure to claim Pension Credit are varied, but the study has pointed out three suggestions.
Firstly, many people do not know the payment exists, however, some are aware but think it is not for them.
Finally, some are confused into thinking that applying for Pension Credit may invalidate other benefits they already receive.
Minister for Pensions, Guy Opperman, told Express.co.uk: “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.”
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