Non-profit organisation, Independent Age, has estimated that around £2,959,000 in Pension Credit is not reaching the poorest pensioners in the Stirling area each year.
Pension Credit is designed to keep pensioners out of poverty and can make all the difference when paying for basic necessities, such as the weekly shop or heating the house. But these statistics show that across Great Britain in 2017/18, Pension Credit take-up has not improved since the previous year.
The Department for Work and Pensions has launched a 12-week awareness campaign on Pension Credit, however Independent Age have said that this is “not enough to tackle the heart of the problem.”
‘The Government must create a comprehensive action plan, with firm take-up targets, and commission up-to-date research to gain a better understanding of why this money is not getting to the 1.15 million pensioner households missing out – including our estimate of 1,405 households in Stirling.‘
‘We think it is unacceptable that whilst 2 million pensioners are living in poverty, over £2.5 billion of Pension Credit is simply returned to Government funds each year. This must change. Officials at the DWP recently confirmed in an evidence session to the Scottish Parliament that if all older people received the benefits they are entitled to, including Pension Credit, pensioner poverty would be reduced to almost zero.‘
Commenting, Alyn Smith said:
‘The latest statistics from the DWP indicate that nearly £3 million in Pension Credits is not reaching those entitled to it, this is outrageous.‘
‘I totally support Independent Age’s campaign trying to make the UK Government sit up and pay attention to the reality that far too many pensioners are missing out on what they are rightfully entitled to under the Pension Credit scheme.‘
‘These entitlements could go a long way in tackling poverty amongst our older generations. In the absence of the DWP taking much more of a proactive role on this matter, I would urge pensioners to make relevant enquiries to find out what they could be missing out on.‘