State pension: Are you one of the 4 in 10 Britons missing out on extra £1,700 per year?
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State Pension payments offer important support to older Britons, many of whom have departed from the workforce. The payment, overseen by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), is available to those who have put forward a certain amount of National Insurance contributions throughout their lifetime. However, aside from the state pension, there may be alternative and additional support available to older individuals.
This is commonly at hand through Pension Credit, offered by the DWP to eligible individuals of state pension age.
Aside from the age requirement, people must be resident in England, Scotland or Wales to apply.
But the payment is ultimately designed to provide an extra sum to those who are living on a low income.
The Government explains the payment could also help with housing costs such as ground rent or service charges.
Despite the help Pension Credit can give, many who are eligible are actually failing to submit a claim.
Recent statistics released by the DWP have shown over one million families eligible to receive Pension Credit did not claim the sum.
This could potentially cost households £1,700 per year in support – which would equate to an unclaimed total of £1.8billion.
The DWP also highlighted groups who may be at risk financially.
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Over 85s, renters and single women are seen to be most at risk of poverty than the older population as a whole.
In this sense, the payment could be especially important to those who may be struggling to make ends meet.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, commented on the matter.
She said: “The numbers of older people living in poverty have risen steadily in the last few years.
“That’s a lot of older people worried sick about how they’ll cope if their heating or their cooker breaks down and needs replacing – more than the entire populations of Newcastle and Liverpool put together.
“For the sake of anyone forced to scrimp and save in their later years, we should do everything possible to raise their incomes, so they can enjoy the dignified and comfortable retirement they deserve.
“There are many reasons why older people don’t claim, including lack of awareness, worry about filling in long forms or disclosing personal information, feeling there is always someone worse off than they are, or being determined not to ask for help, even though in reality they badly need it.
“We’re urging anyone who is struggling financially to get in touch for a free benefits check – it could make a huge difference to the rest of their lives.”
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Pension Credit will top up a person’s weekly income to £177.10 if they are single, and a joint weekly income to £270.30 if a couple.
Those with savings or a second pension could get the ‘Savings Credit’ part of Pension Credit.
People get up to £14.04 a week if single, and £15.71 if they have a partner.
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