Pensioners who don’t check to see whether they qualify for Pension Credit risk missing out on more than a free TV licence – they could also lose help with utilities and a host of other benefits according to Royal London.
It was reported this week that the BBC is to restrict free TV licences to those aged over 75 on Pension Credit from 2020. However, government figures indicate that up to 1.3m pensioners who could be eligible for Pension Credit have yet to claim it and so could miss out on this valuable benefit.
Pension Credit is an income related benefit that tops up a pensioner’s weekly income if it’s below £167.25 for single people or £255.25 if you are part of a couple.
In addition to free TV licences Pension Credit claimants can also benefit from discounts on utility bills through the Warm Home Discount Scheme. This is a one-off £140 discount paid automatically to your electricity supplier between September and March. They can also claim Cold Weather payments that amount to £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March. Claimants can also get their Council Tax paid in full – though this may not be the case if they have other people living with them. Recipients also receive free NHS dental care.
Helen Morrissey, pension specialist at Royal London, said:
“Pension Credit is designed to help the very poorest of pensioners and yet figures show many are yet to claim it. This money could have a significant impact on these peoples’ standard of living and acts as a gateway to a host of other benefits. We would urge people to check if they are eligible for Pension Credit by calling the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234.”
About Royal London:
Royal London is the largest mutual life insurance, pensions and investment company in the UK, with assets under management of £138.9 billion, 8.6 million policies in force and 4,126 employees. Figures quoted are as at 31 December 2019.