Take up rates of Pension Credit have been published by the Department of Work and Pensions.
For 2004/5, up to 79 per cent of entitled claims were being paid out, but as many as 1.6 million over-60s failed to take out their entitlement.
The system is designed to guarantee that everyone over the age of 60 will have a weekly income of £114.05 if single or £174.05 if with a partner. However, a third of the unclaimed figure was for less than £10 per week, meaning that many may not be bothering with a small amount.
Figures also revealed that it was often the most vulnerable who were not taking up their entitlement.
Nearly three quarters of those receiving benefits were owner-occupiers of their home but this sector only accounted for 45 per cent of those entitled.
Yet while a third of those eligible for Pension Credit lived in local authority housing, only 12.5 per cent were actually claiming.
Also, only 25 per cent of those who made claims were on other allowances, even though 40 per cent of entitled recipients could do so.
Despite the large amount of pensioners claiming credit, it appears that many are missing out on what they are entitled to, chiefly amongst those who may have greatest need for it.To read more about pensions, click here.
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