Pension warning: DWP reveal that nearly one in 10 pensioners missing out on entitlement

State pension payments can vary from person to person as they are dependent on National Insurance records. The minimum needed to qualify is 10 years and 35 years will provide people with the full amount.


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The full state pension is currently £175.20 per week which equates to just over £9,000 a year.

Some people may assume that hitting the 35 year limit would be relatively easy, especially when factoring in life expectancy trends.

However, recent statistics released by the DWP revealed that more than half of people who have reached state pension age since April 2016 do not receive the full amount available.

This, according to the data set analysed, effects around 600,000 state pension claimants.

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Stephen Lowe, a Director at Just Group, commented on the worrying figures: “About 44 percent of those who have reached State Pension age since the introduction of the New State Pension – about 574,000 people – receive at least the full rate.

“A further 47 percent or 608,000 people receive somewhere between 75 percent -100 percent of the full amount.

“That leaves about 109,000 people – not quite one in 10 – receiving less than 75 percent of the full amount.”

“The figures compare to nearly two-thirds of people (65 percent) who retired on the Basic State Pension before the rules changed in 2016.”

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Stephen went on to analyse how this will affect pensioners on low incomes the hardest, while highlighting some of the options available to them: ”Many older households are heavily reliant on the State Pension and benefits.

“Together they make up around £4 in every £5 of income for the poorest pensioner households and around half of income for the average pensioner household.

“Those pensioners whose incomes are below a certain threshold – £173.75 for single people or £265.20 for couples – can apply for benefits to top up their incomes.”

The benefit that Stephen referred to was pension credit, an often overlooked resource.


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Martin warns that while pension credit can make a real difference to retiree’s lives, they must take action to see the benefit: “However, this is not done automatically.

“It is up to people to find out for themselves but is certainly worth doing because it can mean thousands a year extra income.

“About 1.2 million pensioner households are missing out on Pension Credit, an average of around £2,000 a year each, according to the government’s own figures.

“Take up rates are lower for couples (55 percent) than they are for single women (62 percent) or men 67 percent and those aged over 75 are also less likely to claim than younger people.”

State pensioners on low incomes may be able to claim pension credit but there are other eligibility rules in place which must be met.

Claimants must live in England, Scotland or Wales and have reached state pension age, which is being increased to 66 in the coming months.

Claimants in a couple can receive pension credit if either:

  • They or their partner have both reached state pension age
  • One of the them is getting Housing Benefit

People will be able to start their application for pension credit up to four months before reaching state pension age.

To put through a claim, a person will need their National Insurance number ready, information on their income and savings and bank details.

The quickest way to apply is likely online through the government’s website but it is also possible to claim it by calling a pension credit claim line or posting a form to the Pension Service.

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