IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The take-up of multiple means-tested benefits by British pensioners. Evidence from the Family Resources Survey

  • Ruth Hancock
  • Stephen Pudney
  • Geraldine Barker
  • Monica Hernandez
  • Holly Sutherland


Non take-up of means-tested benefits among pensioners is of longstanding concern. It will assume increased importance from 2003 with the introduction of the new means-tested Pension Credit, which will subsume Income Support and to which about half of all pensioners are expected to be entitled. In this paper we use Family Resources Survey data spanning the period April 1997 to March 2000 to investigate patterns of take-up of the three main means-tested benefits to which pensioners may be entitled – Income Support (IS), Housing Benefit (HB) and Council Tax Benefit (CTB). We find that although 36% of pensioners in our sample are failing to claim their entitlements to at least one of these benefits, only 16% of non claimants are failing to claim amounts worth more than 10% of their income. The proportions by which claiming all entitlements would increase non- claimants’ incomes are more useful indicators than individual benefit take-up rates, of the effectiveness of means-tested benefits. In general take-up is high where entitlement is high. But there are exceptions to this which may reflect the claims process and/or a greater degree of social stigma associated with IS than with HB or CTB.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Leicester in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 03/7.

in new window

Date of creation: Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lec:leecon:03/7
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics University of Leicester, University Road. Leicester. LE1 7RH. UK
Phone: +44 (0)116 252 2887
Fax: +44 (0)116 252 2908
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: Email:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lec:leecon:03/7. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mrs. Alexandra Mazzuoccolo)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.