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Home News Women closing gender gap in state pension but Pension Credit still underclaimed

Women closing gender gap in state pension but Pension Credit still underclaimed

by wrich gbaf
  • There were 12.5m people receiving the state pension in August 2021. Of these, 2.2m received the new state pension.
  • The introduction of the new state pension in 2016 has evened out the gender gap with women on average receiving £164.74 per week compared to £170.50 for men.
  • Women on the basic state pension on average receive £145.87 compared to £172.64.
  • Far more women than men receive Pension Credit – they account for around 930,000 of the current 1.4m caseload.
  • The number of people receiving Pension Credit has decreased since last year. This is due to factors such as the rising state pension age and the introduction of the new state pension.
  • Only around six in ten people eligible for Pension Credit claim it.

Today DWP published its quarterly benefits statistics DWP benefits statistics: February 2022 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown:

“The introduction of the new state pension is good news for women retiring today as they close the gender gap in terms of how much they are receiving. The state pension is the bedrock of people’s retirement planning and it is hugely positive to see women able to claim more. Over time, in partnership with auto-enrolment, we will see more women building a resilient financial future for themselves in retirement.

However, the comparison with women receiving the basic state pension is stark – on average they are getting almost £20 per week less than those on the new version. Over the course of a retirement this adds up to thousands of pounds less and this will have an impact on your standard of living, particularly if you don’t have much in the way of other assets to rely on. Many of these women will be eligible to claim Pension Credit and this can be shown in that around two-thirds of claimants are women.

Pension Credit is a hugely important benefit and can top up your income to £177.10 per week if you are single or £270.30 if you are part of a couple. It also acts as a valuable gateway to other benefits such as help with bills and NHS costs. If you are over 75 you will also get a free TV licence. However, it remains a hugely underclaimed benefit – only around 60% of those who can claim it do and they are potentially missing out on thousands of pounds of much needed money. This is particularly important at a time when the cost of living is rising so sharply.

You can still be eligible for Pension Credit if you have some savings or own your own home. Anyone who thinks they might be eligible should go to Pension Credit: How to claim – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) or call 0800 99 1234 for more information.”