More than a million pensioners are still living in poverty, partly due to their failure to claim benefits, the charity Age UK has claimed. In a new report, it said 1.6m pensioners in the UK are living below the poverty line, and are “floundering” on low incomes.
It conceded that the numbers living in poverty had fallen since 2000, but said progress had now stalled.
The report, called How We Can End Pensioner Poverty, said that many pensioners “had been walking a tightrope in recent years,” as food and utility bills have risen.
But the biggest cause of poverty was that people are missing out on £5.5bn worth of public support.
The report found that:
- 1.6m pensioners are missing out on Pension Credit, worth £33 a week
- 2.2m pensioners are missing out on Council Tax Benefit, worth an average £728 a year
- 390,000 pensioners could have claimed Housing Benefit, worth £48 a week
Age UK said that many people do not know that they are entitled to benefits; others are too proud or embarrassed to claim.