Published On: Tue, Feb 28th, 2023

Pensioners warned many are ‘in the dark’ about £3,500 income boost | Personal Finance | Finance

Retired Britons over state pension age can be entitled to a wide range of support to help with their day to day lives. However, individuals are aware of some forms of support more than others, according to a new study.

Over 65s were found to know far more about “freebie” benefits, such as the free bus pass or free prescriptions, than state benefits such as Pension Credit – despite the value of the former being much less on average than the latter.

This is according to Just Group, which found that bus passes, free prescriptions and winter fuel payments are almost universally well-known by those over 65s in the UK.

Despite being so well known by this age category, these freebie benefits are worth between £2.08 and £25.00 per week each.

However, in contrast, nearly a quarter of those asked did not know about Pension Credit – the main benefit for pensioners who may be struggling on a low income.

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Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just Group, said: “The social and cultural references to ‘freebie’ benefits means nearly all over 65s know about them but their financial value is dwarfed by other benefits which are less well known.

“People should check whether they could be entitled to additional financial support throughout their adult life.

“But reaching state pension age should act as an important reminder to take a closer look.

“For a start, people must actively claim their state pension and they will also be able to start claiming the two elements of Pension Credit as well as Council Tax Reduction – if they are eligible – from state pension age.”

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Mr Lowe also stressed the importance of Pension Credit as a ‘gateway benefit’ to other forms of support, stating many people are “in the dark” about this help.

Those eligible for Pension Credit may also be able to get support with medical and heating costs, as well as energy bill support payments.

Over 75s on Pension Credit can also secure a free TV licence, an important entitlement.

There are various ways people can look into the help they might be entitled to.

For example, the Government highlights free, independent, third-party benefit calculators via its website, such as Turn2Us, Policy in Practice and entitledto.

Alternatively, individuals could also check with a local benefits adviser to find out what they may be entitled to.

PensionWise is also a Government-backed service, offering free and impartial guidance on pensions.

Finally, organisations such as Citizens Advice, Age UK and the Money Advice Service could also help with financial queries.

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