Campaign needed to raise awareness of over-80s' state pension - LCP

LCP has called for a “focused campaign” to raise awareness of the Category D state pension among people over the age of 80, after finding that 107,000 eligible people do not claim the benefit.

As part of a report from the firm, which also found that around 250,000 people over the age of 70 are not receiving a state pension, it was suggested that the campaign could include local authorities and health services who deal with the over-80s, as well as targeted media activity in outlets most likely to be seen by retirees who migrated to the UK during their working life.

The Category D state pension is a non-contributory state pension for the over-80s that is not automatic and therefore requires those eligible to make a claim, though claimants also have to pass a residency test.

As such, LCP also suggested that a “more radical reform” could be to remove the need for a claim at age 80 and to pay Category D pensions automatically, without a special claim.

The report’s authors said they believed a large proportion of the group of 107,000 would make a successful claim for a Category D state pension if they were aware of it, though an extra 100,000 people aged 80 or over claiming their £82.45 per week would cost over £400m per year in extra state pension payments.

The reasons it cited for the group not claiming this upgrade included a lack of awareness of its availability, language barriers for people who do not have English as their native tongue, practical barriers with regard to documentation and the potential reduced mental capacity that may have come with increased age.

LCP partner, Steve Webb, said: “It is shocking that there are so many older people who are getting no state pension at all. In particular, when we have a special state pension payable to those over 80 which does not depend on National Insurance contributions, it is hard to understand why over 100,000 people over 80 are still on zero pensions.

“The government needs to do much more to identify those who are on zero state pensions and to make sure that they draw the pension to which they are entitled."

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