Commenting on the latest Pension Credit statistics from the Department of Work and Pensions that reveal uptake only increased by 3%, Morgan Vine, Head of Policy and Influencing at Independent Age, said:
“This slight increase in Pension Credit uptake falls massively short of what older people need. It is scandalous that up to £1.7 billion set aside to help people over 65 entitled to support is still not reaching them, especially as we battle against an unprecedented cost-of-living crisis.
“We know Pension Credit has the potential to lift 440,000 older people out of poverty, yet it still has the lowest uptake of any income-related benefit. Too many people in later life are still having to choose whether to heat their home or buy food, despite being eligible for financial support.
“At Independent Age we have been calling on the government to urgently create an action plan that includes a sustained approach for effective awareness campaigns, a full communications strategy, new, high quality, up-to-date research into who is not claiming Pension Credit and why. We also want the government to look at innovative technical solutions such as partial auto-enrolment which would ensure more people eligible to this money receive it.
“These figures clearly show that not enough has been done and up to 850 thousand older people are still missing out as a result.
“As the cost-of-living crisis continues to put pressure on older people’s finances with inflation at a 30-year high and rocketing energy and food prices, we need to see urgent action from the government so that by next year more older people get the support they are entitled to.”
For more information on Independent Age’s Pension Credit campaign, Credit Where It’s Due, see Credit where it's due | Independent Age