After years of hard work, pensioners should be able to enjoy their retirement years comfortably. However, new figures have revealed that one in four UK pensioners are struggling to manage their finances.
What’s even more shocking is that there is up to £5.5 billion in state benefits going unclaimed on an annual basis. Why is this happening? Because pensioners are too proud to accept government help, they are unaware they are entitled to benefits or are wrongfully informed that they aren’t eligible for financial assistance.
The government therefore need to make a change. So many pensioners are unaware that they are entitled to council tax reductions, rent help, pension credit or disability allowance. If pensioners are unaware they are entitled to benefits then we must make them aware.
Age UK’s recent research revealed that a quarter of all over 65 year olds feel financially worse off in comparison to 2013, with the government’s own research demonstrating that 1 in 10 pensioners would be unable to pay an unexpected expense of £200. Therefore, many pensioners would be unable to replace broken appliance or pay an unexpected bill – which could lead to landing in debt with creditors.
The National Employment Savings Trust recently reported that the average pensioner needs around £15,000 to live a comfortable lifestyle – however, many pensioners do not have enough savings in the pot to support themselves financially. A third of pensioners living below £15,000 are therefore struggling to pay for basic necessities, such as food and energy bills.
Energy prices are most definitely adding fuel to the flames with companies like E.ON reportedly hitting cash-strapped pensioners with boosted energy prices, whilst they make approximately £2million per day – and they are only providing their elderly customers with 6 weeks’ notice.
If a pensioner was to end up with a catalogue of debt, how would they repay the money? The chances are many will be unaware of debt management companies like Churchwood Finance, and may only find out about services such as the Citizen’s Advice Service from companies like Age UK, should they be in touch to offer help. This could result in a pensioner losing their home or being racked with financial worries when they should be enjoying their retirement days.