‘A blow!’ Low income pensioners get £116 a week less in state help than better off Britons

Many pensioners are struggling with their income in retirement, which has been compounded by the cost of living crisis. Across nearly all types of cash benefits, those with the lowest incomes are receiving the least in support, according to Just Group.

Analysis of ONS data splitting retired households into five groups or quintiles, showed the bottom quintile received £9,254 per year on average in cash benefits.

This was inclusive of the state pension sum which can vary depending on National Insurance contributions.

It is £116 a week less than the £15,311 received by the fourth quintile, and £90 a week less than the top quintile, whose overall income was more than five times higher. 

Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just Group, said: “The findings challenge the notion that most state support for retired people goes to those with the lowest income – in fact it goes to those in the middle and upper ends of the retirement income scale.

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As a result, Just Group has encouraged low income pensioners to check their eligibility for the payment, as well as other support they could secure. 

Britons can use benefit calculators available online to check their eligibility for support in an anonymous way.

Similarly, for Pension Credit specifically, the Government has an online tool to check if a person could secure a payment.

Local councils will provide information on financial help to pay rent or council tax if a person should so need it.

Alternatively, pensioners can seek independent, regulated financial advice – but this will come at a cost.

A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “Pension Credit take-up is now at its highest level since 2010, and the full yearly amount of the basic State Pension is now over £2,300 higher than it was in 2010, with 400,000 fewer pensioners in absolute poverty after housing costs in 2020/21 than in 2009/10.

“We are committed to ensuring pensioners receive all the benefits to which they are entitled and we continue to work with stakeholders to increase awareness of Pension Credit and the wide range of other benefits it can provide; including, Warm Home Discount, Housing Benefit and Council Tax reduction schemes, as well as a free TV licence for those over 75.”