State pension: Triple lock fury as 123k pensioners missing out on major benefit | Personal Finance | Finance

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Pensioners entitled to claim state pension credit have fallen short of applying for the extra benefit because they are unaware of it, SNP MSP Christine Grahame said. The MSP highlighted the failure of the Scottish Government to design appropriate awareness campaigns to help over 120,000 pensioners in Scotland from reaping the additional benefit. Addressing Holyrood on Thursday, Ms Grahame said: “Rising energy costs particularly hit pensioners, many of whom are housebound.

“Yet, at least 123,000 pensioners in Scotland, according to Age Scotland, have not claimed pension credit.

“Indeed, it’s reckoned 40 percent UK-wide do not claim this benefit, which is a gateway to additional benefits.

“Does the First Minister agree with me that the UK Government should be ashamed and instead of removing the triple lock on pensions, fund a decent basic state pension in the first place?”

Nicola Sturgeon said the Scottish Government had made “repeated calls” to the British Government to improve their awareness campaigns and hit out at Chancellor Rishi Sunak for the “disgraceful” removal of the triple lock on pensions.

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The First Minister said: “The UK has one of the lowest levels of state pensions anywhere in Europe, I believe.

“And I believe it is disgraceful and shameful the triple lock has been removed.

“It’s also important that where benefits are available, there are awareness campaigns to encourage people to take up those benefits.

“That’s a call that is rightly made on us in terms of devolved benefits so we have made repeated calls on the British Government to take a more strategic approach to promote their benefits.”

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Under the triple lock rules, state pension is normally increased by the highest between earnings growth, price inflation or 2.5 percent.

But the Government feared economic distortion resulting from the coronavirus health crisis could see state pension increase by as much as 8 percent next year.

However, Tory MPs overturned the Lords’ decision, agreeing to suspend the triple lock on pension for 2022.

Pensions are expected to rise by 3.1 percent next April despite forecasts predicting growth of inflation by 4 percent.

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