Today is Pension Credit Awareness Day – Tell Aunty!

There are 850,000 households in the UK that could be happier places for successfully  claiming pension credit. Today is deemed a day of action by the DWP. The action needs to focus on ensuring that

  1. Elderly people know about it
  2. Know they are likely to be eligible
  3. Get over the fear of claiming.

These people are 66 or over and probably live on their own, they are mostly women and they often live in their own homes. They are rarely financially self-confident, they are usually financially vulnerable. Many do not speak English as their first language or at all.

They are known to local authorities as they struggle to pay their rent and council tax. Two smart Fintechs, Policy in Practice and Inbest AI, have created software that help local authorities identify candidates and target them with help (not snooping – helping). Pension Credit is the door to more housing benefit and council tax support.

The BBC and ITV have promised press coverage, they have a vested interest, many elderly people can’t afford TV licences, Pension Credit is a door to more – with it – you get your TV licence paid for free.

Many elderly people struggle to get their teeth looked after, get new glasses, pay for prescriptions, get help with mobility. Pension Credit helps elderly people as a door to more, if you are on pension credit you get help with these things.

The elderly spend more time at home, they often have to take tough choices whether to eat or heat, even with improved support from the Government, many will struggle to heat their homes this winter. Pension Credit gives elderly people further help with their heating bills. through the pension credit winter fuel payments.

Estimates vary, but most reckon that up to 30% of pension credit goes unclaimed with £1.8bn of allocated support to those most likely to be in pension poverty, missing out. On top of this LCP estimate around 100,000 UK citizens over 80 are not claiming the over 80s pension that is paid out on claim provided you’ve been in the country 10 years. It is worth around £85 pw.


If you’d like to hear me and Tom McPhail discussing Pension Credit and what can be done to improve participation – follow this link.

If you’d like to read my paper to the DWP on how we can improve participation and increase automation of pension credit, the link is here.

If you’d like to read the Pension PlayPen’s paper “Pension Credit -it’s for you”, you can read it from this link.

I’m no poet laureate but I’ve written an old lag’s rhyme to remind my more privileged readers that there’s a lot of elderly poverty out there

Thanks to the following people and organisations for pledging support for this campaign. Collectively we are the DWP’s Pension Credit working group and I hope that the day of action will result in a week, month and year of action till we improved pension credit take-up towards 100%.

Name Organisation and role
ITV Magnus Brooke, Director of Policy & Regulatory Affairs
BBC Simon Alford, Head of Press
Pension Playpen Steve Goddard, Chief Executive
Pension Playpen Henry Tapper, Founder
Centrica Nigel Howard, Head of Policy & Regulation
Virgin Money Fergus Murphy, Chief Customer Experience Officer
Money & Pensions Service Caroline Siarkiewicz, CEO
Policy in Practice Deven Ghelani, Director
Citizens Advice Morgan Wild, Head of Policy (Families, Welfare and Work)
Age UK Sally West, Policy Manager
Independent Age Morgan Vine, Head of Policy & Influencing
EntitledTo Dr Phil Agulnik, Product Development Director
Local Government Association Sally Burlington, Head of Policy (People)
Turn2Us Claire McMaster, Director of Income & External Affairs
Turn2Us Michael Clarke, Head of Information Programmes
BT Jenny Smith, Customer Experience Compliance Manager
BT Scott Broadley, Senior Manager, Group Public Policy at BT & EE
Pension & Lifetime Savings Association Joe Drabrowski, Deputy Director (Policy)

And thanks to the DWP for bringing us together.

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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