£2.8bn pension credit unclaimed
Published on 24 February 2012 12:30 PM
Many retired workers are losing out because they are not aware of their benefit entitlements, new figures suggest.
The Department for Work and Pensions revealed that up to £2.8 billion in pension credit went unclaimed in 2009-2010.
According to the figures, 1.6 million people failed to claim their full entitlement of pension credit during the year.
Pension credit is used to top-up weekly income during retirement.
Other figures included in the report show that around 3.2 million people also missed out on £2.4 billion in council tax benefit over the same period.
Age UK is calling for the introduction of a Government scheme to help people become more aware of their pension credit entitlement and avoid a repeat of this staggering loss in future.
'It is very disappointing that there has been no progress in older people not claiming the benefits they are owed,' said Michelle Mitchell, charity director general of Age UK.
'There are still 1.8 million people in later life living in poverty and claiming pension credit can make a huge difference to someone's income and quality of life.
'The Government needs to start an awareness programme and move more towards a system where the DWP pay entitlements rather than an individual having to work their way through the benefits maze.'
Copyright Press Association 2012