Written question – Pension Credits [01/12/2022]

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to increase the uptake of pension credits in Inverclyde. (95878)

Tabled on: 24 November 2022

This question was grouped with the following question(s) for answer:

  1. To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many (a) individuals and (b) households in Inverclyde are eligible for claiming pension credits but are not claiming that benefit. (95879)
    Tabled on: 24 November 2022

Laura Trott:

Estimates for Pension Credit take-up in a financial year are only available at the Great Britain level and are available in the “Income-related benefits: estimates of take-up” publication which can be found on the statistics section of gov.uk. The latest publication relates to the financial year 2019 to 2020.

Income-related benefits: estimates of take-up: financial year 2019 to 2020 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Pension Credit provides vital financial support to our most vulnerable pensioners. In Inverclyde some 2,600 pensioners already receive Pension Credit, but we want all those who are eligible to claim it. That’s why the Department launched a £1.2m nationwide communications campaign in April to raise awareness of Pension Credit and increase take-up. The campaign included:

  • Promotion of Pension Credit on social media, via internet search engines and sponsored advertising on targeted websites that pensioners, their friends and family are likely to visit;
  • Information screens in Post Offices and GP surgeries across GB;
  • Advertising in regional and national newspapers and on national and local broadcast radio;
  • Advertising on the sides of buses, interior bus panels and digital street displays;
  • Leaflets and posters in Jobcentres, as well as digital versions which could be used by stakeholders and partners across local communities;
  • Engagement with Local Authorities nationwide through the Government Communication Service local network and promotional materials to enable them to support the campaign; and
  • In June, we held a second Pension Credit awareness media ‘day of action’ working in close collaboration with broadcasters, newspapers and other partners such as Age UK, Independent Age and the private sector to reach out to pensioners to promote Pension Credit through their channels.
  • An updated digital toolkit with information and resources that any stakeholder can use to help promote Pension Credit.

In December further press and radio advertising and social media activity is planned. We will be focusing on highlighting to pensioners that if they apply for Pension Credit by 18 December, it will not be too late to qualify for a £324 Cost of Living Payment – subject to Pension Credit backdating rules.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Lords) and I have also written to MPs and Peers asking for their support and inviting them to a Pension Credit event on 7 December, where I intend to update them on our communications campaign.

In the new year, DWP will again write to over 11 million pensioners as part of the annual uprating of State Pension. The accompanying leaflet has been updated to include the prominent campaign messaging promoting Pension Credit.

The answer was submitted on 01 Dec 2022 at 16:28.