The report documents the findings from a research project designed to examine the barriers to claiming Pension Credit. It provides the first robust quantitative evidence, using a sample of respondents the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) estimated to be eligible non-recipients (ENRs), about why some potentially eligible people do not claim Pension Credit. The main objectives of the research were to improve knowledge about the demographic characteristics and attitudes of the population of Pension Credit eligible non-recipients and to understand more about the reasons why people do not claim when they appear to be entitled.
The study used as its sample 2,224 people identified as ENR in the Customer Engine Room (CER) database. The CER is the best source of information available, combining DWP, Local Authority (LA) and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) administrative data on income and capital, to estimate eligibility. The survey was piloted with approximately 100 people in May 2010, with the contractor TNS-BMRB carrying out the main fieldwork June-July 2010.
Previous research conducted on the reasons why people do not claim has consistently shown perceived ineligibility to be a primary barrier, with barriers related to process and stigma being shown to act as secondary barriers. This new survey evidence supports this. The Department has developed a free Pension Credit Toolkit for local organisations working with older people to use. The toolkit provides a range of resources to help advice workers and volunteers to understand more about who may be eligible for Pension Credit, how to identify potential customers and guide them through the application process.