Pensioners should check to see if they are entitled to any further benefits to boost their income, Age UK has said.
The new system, which came into place on April 6th 2016, allows around three-quarters of those hitting state pension age in the next 15 years stand to get a slightly higher income. However, there are a significant number who won't be eligible and so may feel short-changed by the amendment.
Age UK is urging anyone who is struggling on a low income to see if they are missing out on any benefits that could top up their income from their state pension.
It is estimated that around £3.7 billion is left unclaimed by the millions of pensioners who don't know they are entitled to extra support. This can be money to help handle the increased cost of having an illness and disability or looking after a loved one.
The charity says that many are missing out because they don't know they could be eligible for extra financial support, while others feel too proud or embarrassed to make a claim. Some people are also deterred by the claims process, finding it too complicated or intrusive.
Research has shown that the state pension is the largest single source of income for most older people in the UK, with many having made contributions throughout their working lives. Just under half (47 per cent) of pensioner couples and nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of single pensioners get more than half their income from the state pension and other benefits.
Age UK’s charity director, Caroline Abrahams, said the government should make a "concerted effort to help existing pensioners who are most in need".
She said: "Ultimately we want to see pensioner poverty halved by 2020. Maintaining the triple lock and ensuring that the poorest pensioners receive all of the help that they’re entitled to would go some way to achieving this and would make a huge difference to many lives."
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