HALTON MP Derek Twigg is calling for more to be done to ensure that those who can claim pension credit are aware of their eligibility.

Advice and support group Independent Age has published new research suggesting that as many as 1.3m pensioner households might not be receiving the pension credit they are entitled to.

Mr Twigg said: "Far too many older people in my constituency are not getting the pension credit they're entitled to.

"Independent Age estimate that 2,446 older people are missing out on a combined £5,950,000 every year in Halton.

"It is vital that this income-related support is paid to the least well-off pensioners to support them in their old age."

According to the Government’s own statistics, only 60% of those eligible for the credit are currently in receipt of it.

In 2016-17, the average weekly amount of unclaimed credit was £49 per household. This amounts to the Government holding on to £7 billion of unclaimed pension credit since the 2017 general election.

Mr Twigg added: "With one million pensioners now living in poverty and this figure continuing to rise, it is vital that the Government acts to ensure that all those who are eligible for pension credit take up their qualification.

"I believe that the contributions made by people throughout their lives should be properly recognised in old age, and that is why I am committed to ensuring that all older people receive the dignity and security they deserve.”

What is pension credit?"

Pension credit is an income-related benefit made up of two parts - Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.

Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income if it’s below £167.25 for single people, or £255.25 for couples.

Savings Credit is an extra payment for people who saved some money towards their retirement, for example a pension.