Renowned financial expert Martin Lewis has issued a critical alert, urging pensioners to ensure they are not missing out on substantial financial support. It has come to light that approximately 800,000 pensioners across the country may be overlooking a potential annual top-up of £3,500, available through Pension Credit.
The Unclaimed Benefit:
Pension Credit is a financial lifeline accessible to anyone of pension age with a low income, specifically those with less than £220 per week for individuals or £320 per week for couples.
Martin Lewis Advocates for Action:
During his appearance on Nihal Arthanayake’s BBC Radio 5 Live Show, Martin Lewis emphasized the urgency of addressing this issue. He stressed the importance of ensuring that the 800,000 eligible individuals claim their Pension Credit, highlighting that this should be a top priority.
Speaking on the show, Lewis stated, “Stopping the 800,000 people who aren’t collecting Pension Credit is of utmost importance. Our first aim should be to work much harder and automate the process so that retirees who are eligible for Pension Credit—those with the lowest incomes—get it.”
The Financial Impact:
On average, Pension Credit provides an annual boost of £3,500, which means that a staggering £2.89 million is currently going unclaimed by those who are eligible.
Automatic Eligibility Advocated:
During his radio appearance, Lewis also expressed his belief that Pension Credit should be automatically granted to anyone who meets the eligibility criteria.
How to Claim Pension Credit:
For those who suspect they may be eligible for Pension Credit, the application process is accessible via the Government’s official website. To complete the application, you will need the following information:
- National Insurance number
- Details of income, savings, and investments
- Information regarding income, savings, and investments from the date you wish to backdate your application (usually three months ago or the date you reached State Pension age)
- Bank details (if applying online)
Alternatively, you can apply by calling 0800 99 1234 or by post, using a printed application form.
Martin Lewis’s call to action is a reminder of the vital support available to eligible pensioners through Pension Credit. With an estimated 800,000 individuals missing out on this financial assistance, ensuring that every eligible person claims their entitlement is crucial.