Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Mayor urges older Londoners to ensure they are not missing out on Pension Credit [February 2023]

The press release issued by the Mayor of London on 1 February 2023.

  • £246.5m of Pension Credit unclaimed in London each year
  • Thousands of eligible households missing out on up to £3,300
  • Older Londoners across capital to receive targeted letters on how to apply

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, together with London boroughs, is today launching a new campaign to ensure older Londoners are not missing out on receiving all of the Pension Credit that they are entitled to during the ongoing cost of living crisis.

Unclaimed Pension Credit is estimated to be worth £246.5 million in London alone, with eligible households each missing out on up to £3,300.

The Government provides Pension Credit to people of state pension age on low incomes. In addition to providing extra money for older Londoners on low incomes, receipt of Pension Credit also unlocks a range of further support, including with energy and council tax bills.

The Mayor has funded a campaign in partnership with welfare and data analytics company Policy in Practice that will see approximately 5,700 eligible older Londoners in 22 London boroughs get letters about the Pension Credit they are entitled to but not claiming. Boroughs have provided information relevant to their residents to ensure the letters reflect local circumstances and services on offer.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The cost of living crisis is having a huge impact on households across our city with the burden of rising prices often being felt particularly keenly by older Londoners.

“Many older Londoners may not know they are eligible to receive Pension Credit or how to claim it, which is why we are letting them know what they are entitled to and how to apply as part of my commitment to build a better and more prosperous London for everyone.”

Cllr Claire Holland, London Councils’ Executive Member for Communities, said: “The cost of living in London is rising, with energy bills, rent and food costs at record highs, so we know being able to top up their pensions will make a difference to thousands of older Londoners on low incomes. Using boroughs’ local knowledge and existing relationships with residents, we hope to have a substantial impact on pension credit take-up in the capital.”

Sir Stephen Timms MP, Chair, Work and Pensions Select Committee, said: “I warmly welcome the Mayor’s initiative, and this imaginative approach to identifying people entitled to Pension Credit.  Parliament has agreed that eligible pensioners should receive this extra help.  It is very important – especially in the current cost of living crisis – that those who are entitled to Pension Credit should actually claim it.”

Deven Ghelani, Director of Policy in Practice, said: “We are very proud to be a part of this campaign, using the power of data to change people’s lives. It is great that the Mayor of London and London Councils have taken this joint approach, backed by Age UK, to make a difference to their older residents as they grapple with the cost of living crisis.

“With around £19 billion of benefits remaining unclaimed nationally each year,  the scaling up by London of a data-driven targeted communications campaign for Pension Credit is a great start. It is an example of how councils across the country can use their data to improve the financial resilience of their residents.”

Abigail Wood, CEO, Age UK London said: “Age UK London’s research last year showed that one in four older Londoners are living in poverty so it’s incredibly important that everyone who’s eligible for Pension Credit knows about it and is supported to apply for it. Many older Londoners are missing out on vital financial support that they’re entitled to and will help them to make ends meet during the cost-of-living crisis.”