Hundreds of thousands urged to check if they’re missing out on £3,500 a year amid ‘relentless’ price rises

Hundreds of thousands urged to check if they’re missing out on £3,500 a year amid ‘relentless’ price rises

Sunak accuses Labour of hitting pensioners with tax after tax

Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 15/05/2024

- 18:07

Updated: 16/05/2024

- 11:57

Close to 900,000 Britons are missing out on vital cost-of-living support

Some 880,000 pensioners are being urged to check their eligibility for vital benefits support as they could be missing out on an extra £3,500, according to experts.

Hundreds of thousands of older people could be missing out on Pension Credit amid a period of “relentless” prices rises, retirement charity Independent Age claims.

This warning comes following the publication of the retirement benefit’s uptake figure from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The number of people newly receiving Pension Credit was around 27,000 between September and November 2023.

Independent Age is sounding the alarm that this number of new recipients is lower than this time last year.

For 2021/2022, figures from the DWP found that only 63 per cent of eligible pensioners received Pension Credit over this period.

Do you have a money story you’d like to share? Get in touch by emailing

Woman on laptop and DWP logo

Older Britons are being urged to check their eligibility for Pension Credit


As such, this could mean that around 880,000 Britons are missing out on £3,500 in cost of living support.

Joanna Elson CBE, the chief executive at Independent Age, described the low uptake for Pension Credit as “unacceptable”.

She explained: “The fact many are still missing out is especially concerning because, during this period, high household costs continued to stretch budgets to breaking point across the country.

“And those who missed out on their Pension Credit entitlement will also have missed out on much-needed cost of living payments.

“Urgent action to increase uptake of Pension Credit must be taken. Costs are still painfully high, and our helpline continues to receive regular calls from anxious older people looking for support.”

The pension expert cited that callers to Independent Age have been forced to make “drastic cutbacks” to survive the cost of living crisis.

This includes limiting the amount of food they eat and washing less in order to save money on expenses.

According to the charity’s chief executive, Pension Credit is currently worth the equivalent of £3,500 annually.

It is also widely known as a “gateway benefit” to other support, including council tax reductions and the Warm Home Discount.

Elson claimed that Pension Credit is needed now more than ever before due to “relentless price rises”.


Pension folder

Hundreds of thousands of Brits could be missing out around £3,500 in pension support


The pension expert added: “There are around two million older people living in poverty and entitlements such as Pension Credit are vital tools that can support those living in financial hardship, and in many cases lift people out of poverty.

“We welcome new approaches the DWP has trialled on a small scale and hope to see more efforts like this without delay.

“The UK Government must introduce a Pension Credit uptake strategy that outlines how it plans to target those that are eligible for this transformative support.”

A DWP spokesperson said: “We want pensioners to receive all the support they are entitled to and we promote Pension Credit through public communications campaigns.

“We urge anyone who is unsure whether they or a loved one is entitled to Pension Credit to check their eligibility, including through our online Pension Credit calculator.”

You may like