Pensioners urged to claim DWP benefits as energy cap could reach £3,000 | Personal finance | Finance
Pensioners have been hit hard by the cost of living crisis engulfing the UK, as their incomes struggle to keep pace. Greg Marsh, Founder and CEO of Nous.co, spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about the importance of claiming pension benefits in these difficult financial times.
The government has been working to urge pensioners to claim the pension credit, as it is still unclaimed by many. According to government figures, as many as 850,000 people who might be eligible did not claim pension credit in the 2019 to 2020 financial year.
Mr Marsh said he was delighted to see the government launching a campaign to raise awareness of the pension credit, as it has long been under-claimed by those who qualify for it.
He said: “Some estimates suggest that up to a million pensions are not claiming, despite being entitled to them, which means around £1.7billion remains on the table.
“And with the difficult times ahead, it is right that the government takes all possible steps to ensure that those who are eligible receive the support to which they are fully entitled.”
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He thinks that even after these changes take effect, most state retirees will still be worse off than they were this time a year ago.
The state pension will increase by 3.1% from April 11, 2022.
However, the current inflation rate is double, at 6.2%.
The state pension was previously expected to rise by more than 8% before the triple-lock policy was suspended for the 2022/23 tax year.
Mr Marsh encouraged people to help spread the word among their own friends and family as it could cost up to £3,330 per person.
He shed light on the scale of the problems retirees face in terms of energy bills.
“The energy price cap was just over £1,100 at the start of 2021. It just went up from £1,300 to £2,000,” Mr Marsh said.
“Our forecast suggests that in October it is likely to rise again to £3,000.
‘This means the average household in Britain will be over £150 a month worse off in real terms by the end of the year due to energy costs alone – it’s like having your annual salary cut around £2,500.
“And that only relates to household energy costs.”
He explained that taking into account rising fuel prices, mortgage payments due to higher interest rates, food inflation, rail passes, council tax and other public services, households are battling what is effectively a pay cut of over £5,000 a year.
Mr Marsh concluded: ‘In the meantime, every household in the country needs to do what they can to ensure they know what is happening to their finances and are getting the most out of all their spending.’