The Department has undertaken a range of actions to raise awareness of Pension Credit and encourage pensioners to check their eligibility and make a claim. This has included a Pension Credit media day of action in June and working with stakeholders such as the BBC and Age UK.
We have also set up the Pension Credit working group, made up of a diverse range of organisations with reach and expertise, and including pensioner charities, the BBC, British Telecom, Virgin Money and the Local Government Association. The group is tasked with identifying new practical initiatives that we can work on together to help increase Pension Credit take up.
Over the coming weeks, all pensioners in Great Britain, over 11 million people, will receive information about Pension Credit in a leaflet accompanying their annual up-rating letter. This includes prominent messaging highlighting that an award of Pension Credit can also open the door to a range of additional benefits – not only extra help with fuel costs, but also help with rent and a free over-75 TV licence.
Our initial internal management information suggests new claims for Pension Credit in the past twelve months to December 2021 were around 136,000, representing an increase of around 30% compared to the 12 months to December 2019 when they were around 105,000. It also suggests that we have been receiving consistently high volumes of claims over recent months, at around 3,300 per week.
This management information has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics but are provided here in the interests of transparency.
The latest Pension Credit take-up statistics are due for publication on 24 February. These will cover the financial year 2019/20.