Brentwood, United Kingdom (PressExposure) October 30, 2009 -- From 2 November 2009, the first Â£10,000 worth of savings will be ignored when assessing for Pension Credit entitlement.
The increase sees the level raised for the first time since it was set at Â£6,000 in 2003 and, claims the Government, this will lead to just under half a million pensioners enjoying an extra Â£8 a week; some 20,000 people will become eligible to Pension Credit and Council Tax Benefit where they weren't before; and 90% of those entitled to Pension Credit will have all their savings ignored because they now fall below the new higher limit.
More good news comes thanks to the increase also having an effect on housing benefit and council tax benefit for pensioners.
Benefits not being claimed: "A Worrying Issue"
Pension Credits have been criticised for not being automatic which has lead to many older people missing out on their entitlement. Help the Aged and Age Concern say one in three pensioners are not claiming their entitlement.
Geoff Charles, Managing Director of Bower Retirement Services, has previously commented on this subject, saying: "In one of the areas covered by my company - Barking and Dagenham - it is reckoned that around 3,000 retired people could be missing out on the benefits to which they are entitled. This is a worrying issue and something we come across regularly whilst conducting a means tested benefits analysis as part of our comprehensive advisory service."
New Pension Credit Limit: "Excellent News for Homeowners Looking to Release Cash locked in Property"
Bower Retirement Services specialises in providing independent financial advice to retired homeowners considering their options for a better standard of living in retirement. The company's expertise lies with equity release and, says Geoff Charles, the the raised Pension Credit limited spells excellent news for homeowners looking to release cash from their properties whilst staying within the limit for means tested benefits.
He says: "The changes to the limit for Pension Credit are good news and I welcome them, but the fact remains there is still an overwhelming number of retired homeowners in need of an income boost, whether that's to make the most of their retirement with more to spend on holidays and leisure, to help their families, or to make improvements to their properties. Releasing cash via a lifetime mortgage has changed the lives of so many pensioners for the better, and now they can release even more cash and still stay within the benefits limits, it means the retired population is facing an even brighter financial future."