In 2022 the DWP launched a campaign encouraging households to apply for the £1.7 billion in unclaimed Pension Credit. Policy in Practice partnered with local authorities to run targeted campaigns and distributed £35 million in Pension Credit to eligible households.
Pension Credit campaign good news story of 2022
There are 51 households claiming Pension Credit which, for a couple, is worth £255 per week. This means £676,000 annually has been brought into our district which I think is an awesome result for what was, in realistic terms, a few afternoons by three benefit staff.
Jane Worrell, Revenue and Benefits Senior Specialist, Folkestone and Hythe Council
Learn more about the Pension Credit campaign good news story
As the cost of living crisis grew this year, many pensioners have faced unprecedented financial challenges. Policy in Practice partnered with local authorities to target the one third of eligible pensioners missing out on unclaimed Pension Credit worth £1.7 billion.
Many eligible households believe they are ineligible to claim due to savings or owning their property, so a targeted campaign by local authorities can be a key way to remove barriers to claiming.
Using administrative data via the LIFT platform, local authorities can contact eligible residents and boost Pension Credit uptake.
Some leading local authorities have achieved great success with Pension Credit take up campaigns informed by their administrative data. Councils using the LIFT platform have secured take-up for residents worth an average of £2,700 per household.
Initially working with councils across London and Kent, the effectiveness of Pension Credit take-up campaigns using LIFT was clear. £1,905,720 in Pension Credit was secured by nine local authorities in the South East by June 2022.
In two Pension Credit take-up campaigns run with Islington Council, Policy in Practice identified 689 eligible households. The ensuing contact from the council saw 274 households (40%) successfully claiming Pension Credit totalling £939,100. £230,970 was distributed in backdated Pension Credit. Alongside additional benefits identified for residents during the campaigns, the total benefits awarded for the 274 households is £1,231,633, or £4,495 per household.
A third campaign has recently been run with £253,000 already distributed, and more to come.
In a similar campaign by Tower Hamlets Council, 415 households were identified and contacted, with 58 taking up Pension Credit, a success rate of 14%. A lower success rate, as with minimal resources to spare, follow up calls were not made initially. However, this still resulted in benefits to residents totalling £223,000, or £3,845 per household.
Adding to this, further campaigns and the use of follow-ups have seen Tower Hamlets now distributing over £2.4 million in Pension Credit.
To date, Pension Credit campaigns run via LIFT have resulted in 14 local authorities distributing £35 million to eligible households.