CASH-strapped pensioners are missing out on £1,423 in benefits per year.

The average figure applies to the 46 per cent of retired households who don’t claim any benefits at all.

 Pensioners are missing out on an average of £1,423 a year by failing to claim benefits

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Pensioners are missing out on an average of £1,423 a year by failing to claim benefitsCredit: Alamy

The amount has risen from £1,139 in 2018 and from £545 in 2017, according to a yearly survey by Just Group.

The study by the financial services firm was based on hour-long interviews with 220 retirees.

The three key benefits that can be claimed by pensioners are the guarantee and savings elements of pension credit as well as a council tax reduction.

Guarantee pension credit, which tops up your income to a minimum set by the government, sees the largest amount of claimants with 85 per cent of eligible retirees doing so.

But those who are failing to claim miss out on a whopping £1,690 a year on average.

Roughly 42 per cent of respondents claim council tax reductions, with an average yearly loss of £801 to those who don’t.

Meanwhile, savings pension credit, which rewards you for putting cash aside for retirement, attracts just 21 per cent of eligible claimants.

Failing to do so costs eligible Brits an average of £453 per year.

Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just Group, said: “Meaningful sums of money that would make a huge difference to people’s lives are not being claimed.

“The low level of take-up for some of the key benefits raises serious questions about the support being given to help people navigate the complexities of the benefits system.”

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The Sun contacted the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for comment.

How to get what you’re owed

Pension credit

Pension credit is an income-related benefit made up of two parts – guarantee credit and savings credit.

The guarantee element tops up your weekly income if it’s below £167.25 (for single people) or £255.25 (for couples).

While savings credit is an extra payment for people who saved some money towards their retirement, for example a pension.

This amounts to up to £13.73 a week for single people, and up to £15.35 per week for couples.

Although, you might get more if you’re a carer, severely disabled, responsible for a child or young person, or have certain housing costs.

To qualify, you must live in England, Scotland or Wales and have reached state pension age.

You can only start getting savings credit if you (and your partner, if you have one) reached state pension age before April 6 in 2016.

The quickest way to apply for pension credit is by calling 0800 99 1234.

You’ll need your national insurance number, information about your income, savings and investments as well as your bank account details.

Sadly, your claim can only be backdated for three months.

Council tax reduction

If you’re on a low income, you can apply to your local council for a council tax reduction.

Your bill could be reduced by up to 100 per cent, but how much you’ll get depends on whether:

  • You get pension credit
  • You get the guarantee part of pension credit
  • You only get the savings part of pension credit without the guarantee part
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It also depends on your weekly income and how much you have in savings.

Councils run their own schemes, so you’ll need to get in touch with your local one to claim. You can find the contact details on the GOV.UK website.

You can ask for the reduction to be backdated to the date when your benefit was awarded, as long as it’s within one month.

Another way to check what you’re entitled to is by using these free benefits calculators.

Or you can ask charities such as Citizens Advice and Age UK for help.

Around 3.4million disabled pensioners could be missing out on up to £4,558 a year in attendance allowance.

Meanwhile, 11,000 retirees could see their state pension drop by more than £3,500 a year from April.

Young employees are also missing out on savings of up to £20,000 towards retirement due to a delay in government pension reforms.

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