The alert has come following analysis into access to State Benefits. Pensioners with the smallest income in retirement are receiving the least in State Benefits, according to new research from the advisory firm HUB Financial Solutions.

Analysis of Office for National Statistics (ONS) data splitting retired households into five groups by annual income show the bottom quintile receives £8,833 a year on average in cash benefits, including the state pension.

This is £84 a week less than the £13,220 received by the second quintile.

Meanwhile, it is more than £100 a week less than the top quintile, where the average cash benefit income is £14,060.

Simon Gray, Managing Director at HUB Financial Solutions, said: “The findings challenge the notion that most State cash goes to the poorest pensioners – in fact it goes to those in the middle of the income scale.

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“The characteristic of those retired people on the lowest incomes is that they receive less state pension, perhaps because they did not achieve the qualifying years needed or missed out on additional pension such as State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) or State Second Pension (S2P).

“They also have not managed to save or invest as much, either inside or outside private pensions which has also contributed to lower retirement incomes.

“Four in five of the retired people on the lowest incomes own their homes, a significantly higher proportion than every other quintile except those on the highest incomes, which means they can’t qualify for housing benefit.”

The advisory firm went on to address the importance of checking to see whether a person is entitled to additional support.

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According to the latest figures released by the DWP on the matter, around one million households are entitled to the means-tested Pension Credit, but not claiming it.

“Our concern is that these ‘property rich, income poor’ people may be put off checking their entitlement to benefits,” Mr Gray said.

“Government figures show about a million families are missing out on £1.8billion of Pension Credit each year.”

HUB Financial Solutions said its specially trained advisors check the benefits entitlements of all customers who are considering equity release and they frequently find people are missing out.

This includes those hosted by Policy in Practice, Turn2us and entitledto – all of which are signposted to on the Government website.

Within its Pension Credit guide, Age UK points out a person may still be eligible for the benefit, even if they own their own home.

The charity adds: “You have nothing to lose by applying, but potentially a lot to gain, and even if you’ve previously been turned down, it’s always worth making a new claim every year.

“Benefits rates change every year, as can your finances.”



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