Later Life

Advisers tackling lack of benefit take-up amongst older clients

54% of advisers surveyed said they had worked with consumers who were not claiming all of their benefit entitlements.

Rozi Jones
|
12th February 2020
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"This gives advisers a real opportunity to discuss later-life benefits alongside financial planning, remortgaging, or lending into retirement."

The majority of advisers have seen pensioner clients who are not claiming all of the benefits they are entitled to, according to the latest survey from Insights, Barcadia Media's independent market research portal.

During a recent series of Financial Reporter Roadshows, 54% of advisers surveyed said they had worked with consumers who were not claiming all of their benefit entitlements.

Recent research from Just Group found that 46% of eligible pensioner homeowners are failing to claim any State benefits and a further 18% are claiming but receiving less than they are entitled to.

The data shows that those failing to claim anything are each missing out on an average of £1,423 a year per household, while those receiving too little are underclaiming by £2,102 a year.

Savings Pension Credit has the lowest take-up rate of just 21%, followed by Council Tax Reduction, which is claimed by 42% of those entitled. Guarantee Pension Credit has the highest take-up rate of the three key benefits at 85%, but those failing to claim are missing out on an average £1,690 a year and those who are not receiving all they are entitled to should receive £2,281 a year more.

At the Financial Reporter Roadshows, 69% of advisers said they routinely discuss benefit entitlement with your clients who are at or approaching retirement age and 19% said they 'sometimes' do. Just 12% of advisers are failing to regularly discuss benefit entitlements with their older clients.

When asked why some consumers are failing to claim the benefits they are entitled to, 79% said there is a lack of information about what's available at 41% believe the application process is too complicated.

29% said there is an assumption that being a homeowner means you are not entitled to any benefits and 21% believe there is still a stigma surrounding benefits claimants.

To join the Insights mailing list and get future market research surveys straight to your inbox, visit www.project-insights.co.uk.

Financial Reporter holds dozens of webinars and broker roadshows throughout the UK each year – our commitment to supporting the professional development, education, and business opportunities of our readers.

For information on all of our upcoming events, visit www.financialreporter.co.uk/roadshows.

Rozi Jones, editor of Financial Reporter, commented: "With an ever-increasing focus on retiree incomes, it's worrying that the majority of older people are unaware of their benefit entitlements.

"Our research found there is an assumption that homeowners are not entitled to benefits, and this gives advisers a real opportunity to discuss later-life benefits alongside financial planning, remortgaging, or lending into retirement.

"It's positive that most of the advisers we spoke to are discussing this important income potential with their clients, especially as eligible pensioner homeowners are losing thousands of pounds a year in some cases.

"We are holding a series of Later Life Lending Roadshows in 2020 which will better equip advisers to have these types of conversations with their older clients."

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