Almost two-thirds of pensioner homeowners not claiming full state benefits

Nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of pensioners that own a home are failing to claim the full amount of state benefits that they are entitled to, according to Just Group.

Its tenth annual State Benefits Survey found that 46 per cent of eligible pensioner homeowners are failing to claim any benefits that they are due.

A further 18 per cent are claiming for some benefits but receiving less than they are entitled to.

The survey found that those who are not claiming anything are missing out on an average £1,423 a year per household, while those that are not claiming their full entitlement are missing out on an average of £2,102 per year.

The proportion of people that are failing to claim any benefit they are entitled to fell from 49 per cent in 2018, but the average annual loss from failing to claim increased from £1,139 per year.

There was a similar trend in those failing to claim all their state benefits, with the amount falling from 20 per cent year-on-year but the average loss increasing from £855 per year.

Commenting on the survey, Just Group group communications director, Stephen Lowe, said: “The low level of take-up for some of the key benefits raises serious questions about the support being given to help people navigate the complexities of the benefits system.”

The most common benefit that was not claimed was Savings Pension Credit, which was only claimed by 21 per cent of people entitled to it.

Council Tax Reduction is claimed by 42 per cent of those entitled, with an average annual loss of £801 to those failing to claim and an average £289 a year shortfall for those claiming but not receiving the full amount.

Guarantee Pension Credit had the highest take up, with 85 per cent of those entitled to it claiming. However, those failing to claim are missing out on an average £1,690 a year and those who are claiming but not receiving all they are entitled to should receive £2,281 a year more.

“It certainly reinforces the argument that state benefits information should be included as part of the free, independent and impartial financial guidance now being offered by the government backed Pension Wise service to those aged 50+ who are considering accessing pension money,” concluded Lowe.

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