Cost of Living Crisis
The pandemic and the rising cost of living have left lots of people with new money worries. MoneyHelper provides help and guidance about managing your money in uncertain times – this includes practical advice about living on a squeezed income and help if you’re struggling with bills and payments.
MoneyHelper is a free service provided the Money and Pension service. The Money and Pensions service is sponsored by the Government.
You can also get help from the Citizens Advice – it provides information about what help is available from your local council, the Government and other forms of support.
Help with energy bills – the Government has announced it will help all households in Great Britain with energy bills. Extra help is also available for households on lower incomes.
Yes, you can reduce your pension contributions if you join the 50/50 section of the LGPS. If you do, you’ll pay half your normal contributions and build up half your normal pension. You’ll keep full life and ill health cover in the 50/50 section. You can move back to the main section when you are ready. Find out more about the 50/50 section here.
You can use the Contributions calculator to check how joining the 50/50 section would affect your take-home pay.
If you want to stop your pension contributions you can opt out of the LGPS. You should take independent financial advice before opting out.
Yes. Watch out for scams related to the rising cost of living. These scams may take many forms and could be about insurance policies, pension transfers or high risk investment opportunities, including investments in crypto-assets.
Scammers are sophisticated, opportunistic and will try many things. They are likely to target the vulnerable. Beware of investments that appear too good to be true.
To protect yourself you should:
- reject offers that come out of the blue
- beware of adverts on social media channels and paid for or sponsored adverts online
- use the Financial Services Register and Warning list to check who you are dealing with
- not click links or open emails from senders you don’t know
- avoid being rushed or pressured into making a decision
- not give out personal details, bank account details, your address or information about your existing insurance policies, pensions or investments.
If you suspect a scam, call Action Fraud right away on 0300 123 2040.
Yes, there is a separate welfare benefit for pensioners called Pension Credit. Pension credit provides extra income for people over State Pension age on lower incomes.
In April 2022, it was estimated that about 850,000 households are missing out on Pension Credit because they think it isn’t meant for them. Pension Credit can be worth up to £3,300 a year and you may be eligible even if you have your own home or have savings.
Even if you find out you are only entitled to a small amount of pension credit, it is worth claiming. This is because it may help you qualify for other benefits, such as help with heating bills, housing costs, NHS dental care, council tax, and if you are over 75, a free TV licence.
Use the online calculator to check if you are missing out on Pension Credit – it only takes a few minutes. Or call 0800 99 1234.