Pension Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 10th March 2020.

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Photo of John Nicolson John Nicolson Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Pension Credit toolkit in increasing uptake of Pension Credit.

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

It is important to highlight that in 2017/18 there were around 1.7 million Pension Credit claimants, receiving around £5.1 billion of Pension Credit payments.

The Government wants to make sure that all pensioners eligible can claim the Pension Credit to which they are entitled. That is why on the 10 February we launched a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of Pension Credit. The aim of the campaign is to encourage those over State Pension age to check whether they’re eligible. We want to make it clear that having savings, a pension or owning a home are not automatic barriers to receiving Pension Credit; as well as explaining that even a small award of Pension Credit can provide access to a range of other benefits such as help with rent, council tax reduction schemes and heating costs.

The campaign includes a short, animated video that is being shown in GP waiting rooms and in Post Offices. It is also being shown to Facebook users over State Pension age and supported by other messaging on social media. We have also made the video and campaign materials available for stakeholders to use, as we know they are often one of the first places people turn to for information about Pension Credit.

An important part of our overall strategy to promote take-up is engaging with people who may be eligible to benefits at pivotal stages, such as when they claim State Pension or Attendance Allowance or report a change in their circumstances which may mean that they could be eligible for Pension Credit.

Working with our stakeholders is an important part of our ongoing strategy to improve take-up of Pension Credit because we know that often the best ways to reach eligible pensioners is through trusted organisations working in the community. We have therefore updated the Pension Credit toolkit to include the new campaign materials, supplementing the resources it already contains to assist agencies and welfare rights organisations to encourage Pension Credit take-up and support pensioners applying for Pension Credit. It can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pension-credit-toolkit

The most recent information available on the number of times the Pension Credit toolkit was accessed this year is in the table below. For comparative purposes it includes data on the number of viewings of the Pension Credit overview page on GOV.UK, which is considered the most likely initial starting point for the public obtaining on line information about Pension Credit.

WEBPAGE VIEWINGS (2020)

Page

1-7 Jan

8-14 Jan

15-21 Jan

22-28 Jan

29 Jan – 4 Feb

5-11 Feb

12-18 Feb

19-25 Feb

26 Feb – 3 Mar

Pension Credit toolkit: landing page

14

16

12

41

73

323

268

268

101

Pension Credit toolkit: advice and guidance for stakeholders

39

59

72

66

87

350

240

205

142

Pension Credit guidance for customers overview page

10,166

11,045

12,120

13,599

14,577

28,790

17,907

15,952

16,110

Notes:

1. Data refers to the following webpages:

2. Data shows the number of times these webpages were accessed.

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