This country has never paid our pensioners more. This year, we will spend over £129 billion on the State Pension and benefits for pensioners in Great Britain. From April,
The Social Security (Up-rating of Benefits) Act 2020 raised the State Pension by 2.5% from April 2021 although CPI was 0.5% and earnings were negative. From April, the full yearly amount of the basic State Pension will be around £720 more in 2022/23 than if it had been up-rated by prices since 2010. That’s a rise of over £2,300 in cash terms.
In addition, around 1.4 million eligible pensioners across Great Britain receive around £5 billion annually in Pension Credit, which tops up their retirement income and act as a passport to other financial help, such as support with housing costs, council tax, heating bills and a free TV licence for those over 75.
Cold weather payments are payable to those in receipt of Pension Credit and the warm home discount - a rebate of £140 on a customer’s energy bill - is available to those in receipt of Pension Credit Guarantee Credit. From 2022/23 the eligibility criteria for the warm home discount scheme will be extended to a greater number of Pension Credit customers and the payment increased to £150.
Customers of State Pension age are also entitled to an annual Winter Fuel payment worth up to £300. This winter we will pay over 11m pensioners a winter fuel payment at an annual cost of £2bn which is a significant contribution to winter fuel bills.
The Chancellor’s announcement on 3 February of a package of support to help households with rising energy bills, worth £9.1 billion in 2022-23, will also be available to eligible pensioners.
Further support for pensioners includes free eye tests and NHS prescriptions worth around £900m every year and free bus passes worth £1bn every year.