The number of Pension Credit claims made to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) more than doubled in the most recent tax year, new figures released under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act reveal.
Almost a quarter of a million Pension Credit claims were made in 2022/23 compared to approximately 111,000 in the previous tax year.
Tom Selby, head of retirement policy at AJ Bell, comments: “Pension Credit has historically been chronically underclaimed by those who are eligible, with hundreds of thousands of households potentially missing out on thousands of pounds of valuable extra income per year. This is particularly tragic because those who are eligible for Pension Credit are likely to be among the poorest households in the UK.
“The rising cost-of-living has brought greater urgency to the issue, in particular because a successful Pension Credit application automatically triggers cost-of-living payments worth hundreds of pounds, as well as acting as a gateway to other benefits like free TV licenses and help with heating costs.
“In this context, the fact Pension Credit claims have more than doubled in the space of a year is both heartening and depressing. Heartening because it means over 60,000 more people received Pension Credit and the benefits that go with it in 2022/23, but depressing because it shows just how much retirees are struggling as a result of price rises.
“The fact almost 100,000 Pension Credit claims were turned down in 2022/23 is also deeply worrying, as these households may have been relying on receiving the benefit – not to mention the £600 of cost-of-living payments still to be distributed this year – to make ends meet. If your Pension Credit claim has been turned down you may still be entitled to other benefits, so it’s worth checking to see if you are eligible for other forms of financial help.”