State pension: Millions in poverty – could you get an extra £2,500 a year? Check here


Older people’s charity Independent Age has said there are “over a million pensioners who between them, due to government inaction, are missing out on a staggering £10m every day that should be in their pockets.”

There are benefits in place for pensioners to help them in later life, but so many are not claiming them.

For example, 170,000 households in the north-west of the UK are estimated to be missing out on pension credits each year.

In London alone there is £650m credits unclaimed for pensioners.

It is reported that pensioners are missing out on an average of $49 a week or £2,548 a year.

Pension benefits

How do they work and could you claim?

Pension credit

This is one of the main benefits claimed by poorer pensioners, although there are many more. said: “Pension Credit is an income-related benefit made up of 2 parts – Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.

“Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income if it’s below £167.25 (for single people) or £255.25 (for couples).

“Savings Credit is an extra payment for people who saved some money towards their retirement, for example a pension.”

Attendance Allowance

If a pensioner has a problem, be it an illness or disability, meaning they need someone to come to their home and help them regularly they can claim attendance allowance.

There are two kinds, a lower rate of £58.70 a week for people who need help either in the day or in the night.

There is a £87.65 sum a week for those who need round the clock care or are terminal.

Carer’s Allowance

This is claimed to carers, but as many carers help the elderly it does benefit pensioners.

It equates to £66.15 per week and can be claimed by someone who cares for someone at least 35 hours a week.

Winter Fuel Payment

This payment is made to help with heatings costs for the elderly.

It is made in one lump sum of £200 if you are under 80 or £300 if you are over 80.

Other pensioners could be missing out on a pension tax relief. 

The tax relief applies to most private pension schemes, such as workplace pensions, personal and stakeholder pensions, and overseas pension schemes that qualify for UK tax relief.

This automatic action may occur if an employer takes workplace pension contributions out of an employee’s pay, before deducting Income Tax.

Alternatively, if a person’s rate of Income Tax is 20 per cent, then the pension provider can claim it as tax relief and add the amount to the pension pot – known as “relief at source”.

How can you increase your state pension? 

Just because an individual has reached state pension age, it’s not to say that they must immediately claim the payment.


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