According to a report by retirement specialist Just Group, home owning pensioners are not claiming the maximum benefits to which they are entitled or in some cases claiming none at all. Up to one in five pensioners are eligible for up to £1220 more than they are currently claiming.1
The main contention is that retirement guidance does not cover benefit entitlement as seriously as it should. While the old age pension is automatically granted when people reach pension age, there are three main benefits that have to be applied for and are all means tested.
Guarantee Pension Credit
Designed to help pensioners over state pension age on low incomes. According to the Just Group report, roughly seven out of ten have signed up for this benefit, those who fail to claim are missing out on up to £2265 per annum. This money that can help offset rises in the cost of living, as well as help with housing costs for service charges, and even for extra help around the house or care for those whose mobility is becoming a problem.
Savings Pension Credit
This acts as a top up for those who reached state pensionable age before 6th April 2016 and who have made efforts to provide for themselves in retirement through their own savings. It is estimated that on average claimants could be better off to the tune of £596 per annum, according to Just Group.
Council Tax Reduction
Findings from the report also showed that eligible pensioners could be claiming as much as £748 a year, and from the sample polled, 49% were missing out on at least one of the benefits above.
If you have family members who are retired, it would be worthwhile checking that they are claiming every benefit to which they are entitled.
There are resources to help them including charities like Age Concern and Citizens Advice and government backed organisations such as the Money & Pensions Service (the new name for the Money Advice Service) https://moneyandpensionsservice.org.uk .
- Just Retirement (2022) Nearly 7 in Ten Pensioner Homeowners eligible for State Benefits are missing out. Available at: https://www.justgroupplc.co.uk/~/media/Files/J/JRMS-IR/news-doc/2022/nearly-seven-in-10-pensioner-homeowners-eligible-for-state-benefits-are-missing-out.pdf (Accessed 26 Jan 2022)