Research and analysis

Investigating the triggers into claiming Pension Credit (RR785)

Findings of research into the triggers for Pension Credit claims, to better understand how to deliver the benefit to the most vulnerable customers



by Darren Bhattachary and Zoe Slade

A number of Pension Credit claims come from existing state pension customers. Many of these are thought to have been eligible for some time before a claim was made. Research was commissioned to investigate the triggers that gave rise to claims in order to better understand how to target Pension Credit to the most vulnerable customers.

Pensioners’ awareness of and their perceived need for Pension Credit had an impact upon the customer journey. Four distinct segments emerged based upon these 2 factors:

  • ‘Keep it in the family’ - those not comfortable discussing financial matters, other than with close family. They had low awareness and low perceived need of Pension Credit
  • ‘Falling through the net’ - missed out on automatic triggers notifying them about PC. They had low awareness but a high perceived need of Pension Credit
  • ‘They don’t mean me’ - thought they had enough money to ‘survive on’ and thought they would be ineligible. They had high awareness and a low perceived need of Pension Credit.
  • ‘Too proud for help’ - the most financially vulnerable group but were too proud to get additional support. They viewed Pension Credit as a handout but had a high awareness of and a high perceived need for Pension Credit

The report concludes by identifying the main communication issues relating to each segment, together with ideas for how best to target these customers and what messages might have the greatest impact.