In response to the DWP’s announcement urging older people to claim Pension Credit to top up their retirement income, Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said:
“It’s extremely worrying that there has been no progress in the benefit take up figures despite the number of UK pensioners in poverty now standing at 1.9 million.
“We are dismayed that despite so many pensioners struggling financially, more than £3.3 billion in Pension Credit remains unclaimed by older people every year. These are benefits designed to help people on a low income and could make a real difference to their lives if claimed.
“We are clearly far from ‘job done’ when it comes to ensuring that everyone has a decent income in retirement and a concerted effort to help the most vulnerable is urgently needed.
“We know that many of those missing out simply aren’t aware they could be entitled to extra support; others are aware of the benefits but feel too embarrassed or proud to put in a claim; and some have previously put in an unsuccessful claim or have been put off by the claiming process which they feel is too complicated or intrusive".
Age UK Sheffield advisers are on hand to help and we would urge any older person who is worried about money to get in touch with us by calling 0114 250 2850 or by visiting our office at 197 Eyre Street Sheffield