Veronica Fenn, 82, from London, only recently found out she was eligible for pension credit after it was mentioned by a friend – she now gets an extra £110 a week
More than three-quarters of a million older people in the UK are missing out on pension credit – a valuable deposit that could add more than £3,000 a year to your income.
That’s according to Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) figures released today, in the context of cost of living crisis that could send inflation soaring above 7.5% in April.
DWP findings show less than seven out of 10 people qualify for pension credit currently receiving it.
Support for retirees at risk of falling into near poverty because of their income – usually their state pension – too low.
It pays around £177.10 a week if you’re single or £270.30 if you have a partner – although the exact amount depends on factors like How much money do you have saved?.
Since 2019, pension credits worth up to £1.7 billion have gone unclaimed. That’s £1,900 per eligible household missed.
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Veronica Fenn, 82, from London only found out she was eligible for the benefit after speaking with a friend.
Ms. Fenn approaches the charity Age of independence. Then she found out she could get £110.38 a week.
“Finding help doesn’t always come naturally to my generation and I’ve always been an independent minded person, but it’s important for people to know what support is out there,” she says. speak.
Ms Fenn said with food prices and bills rising, pension credit is now a big part of her income.
“Retirement credit is hugely important to me, I don’t think a current pension is enough for anyone to live on, especially with the massive increase we’re seeing in the cost of living.
“Even with this necessary recharge, I still have to save money where I can.
“I find that having a smartwatch is really helpful because I can see how much electricity I use each day.
“I have a few tricks up my sleeve like warming up my coffee in the microwave instead of the kettle, and I limit how often I use the oven.
“The electricity bill has gone up too much. Unless it’s really cold, I wear a sweater instead of using a heater.”
Even after the extra support, Ms Fenn said she cut the cost of everything to save every penny.
“I used to work in the fashion industry, where I developed a vision of good fabrics that made it possible for me to buy clothes in charity shops,” she says.
“I bought a pair of glasses for £2 and put my prescription lenses in it, it would cost me fifty times more at an optician.
“You can still enjoy life while saving money, but I believe much more can be done to support older people.”
Pensioners are urged to check if they qualify for the support amid an inflation crisis that could plunge tens of thousands of pensioners into poverty this year.
It appeared after triple lock was axed – which means State pension will increase by 3.1% this April – only half of the Bank of England’s average inflation forecast of 6.2%.
Last month, the price increase hit 5.5%, the highest level in 30 years.
Pensions and Shadow Work Secretary Jonathan Ashworth calculates that the result is an individual pensioner would be £222 and couples £355 off in real terms in the next financial year.
Morgan Vine, head of policy and influence at the independent age, said: “We know retirement credit has the potential to lift 440,000 seniors out of poverty, but it still has the lowest incomes. relative to any income-related benefits.
“Too many people later in life still have to choose to heat their homes or buy food, despite being eligible for financial assistance.
“These numbers clearly show that this is not enough and as a result up to 850,000 elderly people are still missing.
“It is scandalous that up to £1.7 billion in funding to help those over 65 get support is still not reaching them, especially as we are battling the cost of living crisis. unprecedented activity.
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“As it continues to weigh on the finances of the elderly with inflation at a 30-year high and food and energy prices soar, urgent action from the government is needed to get to the end of the year. later, more elderly people get the support they are entitled to. .
“We want the government to look at innovative technical solutions like partial auto-registration to make sure more people qualify for this money.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/woman-discovers-can-1320-year-26320851 Woman finds out she could get £1,320 a year because her state pension is too low