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One million Brits missing out on pension credit

·2-min read
One million Brits missing out on pension credit
Pension credit is an underclaimed benefit with only around 60% of those people entitled to it claiming it, Hargreaves Lansdown said. Photo: Getty

One million people in the UK could be missing out on pension credit, according to new research from Hargreaves Lansdown,

Pension credit is a benefit for pensioners that tops up weekly income to a minimum amount to help with living costs for people on a low income.

However, it is an underclaimed benefit with only around 60% of those people entitled to it claiming it, Hargreaves Lansdown said.

Pension credit brings up the weekly pension amount to £177.10 for single people and lifts joint weekly income up to £270.30 for those with partners.

Pension credit is separate from your state pension and you can still receive pension credit even if you have other income, savings or own your own home.

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The amount can be topped up further for carers and recipients may also be able to receive housing benefit, support for mortgage interest, council tax reduction, help with NHS dental treatment, glasses and transport costs for hospital appointments, and help with heating costs.

An estimated 1.47 million people are claiming pension credit in 2021/22, according to figures published on Friday by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "Many people don’t realise they qualify for pension credit and risk missing out on a much-needed boost to their pension income. 

"Pension credit also acts as a gateway to other benefits with over-75s being able to get a free TV licence, for instance. You can also get help with heating and council tax bills so it can potentially be a massive help.

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"Some people simply don’t know pension credit exists while others don’t realise they qualify. For instance, you may still qualify for pension credit if you own your own home or have some savings.

"With inflation really starting to show its teeth and energy bills on the rise, many pensioners face a real squeeze in income over the coming months and any extra income is welcome. 

"Anyone who feels they may qualify for pension credit should contact DWP. Even if you have been refused in the past a change in circumstances may mean you now qualify so it’s worth checking.”

You can apply for pension credit up to four months before you reach state pension age, which currently stands at 66 and applications can be made online, over the phone or by post.

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