How pensioners are making their cash go further – even if the ‘triple lock’ is broken

Millions of Britons face an anxious wait to see if state pensions will rise as promised due to inflation – or if they will have to settle for a much smaller increase.

Earlier this month, when Prime Minister Liz Truss pledged to keep the pension triple-locked.

This is a promise to increase payments based on inflation, average income, or a maximum of 2.5%.

That has pensioners hoping they will see a 10 per cent jump next April.

But her successor, Rishi Sunak, has yet to commit to that promise.

With six months to go before any rise, all pensioners will face a winter with higher costs for energy, food, fuel and going out.Stock image of an elderly couple paying taxes online

With six months to go before any rise, all pensioners will face a winter with higher costs for energy, food, fuel and going out.Stock image of an elderly couple paying taxes online

With six months to go before any rise, all pensioners will face a winter with higher costs for energy, food, fuel and going out.

Helen Morrissey, senior pensions analyst at online investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Life has been tough for many pensioners as the soaring cost of living weighs heavily on their finances.

“They also have a lot of uncertainty about whether the triple lock will resume, giving them a sizeable boost to their state pension next year.

“However, there are other ways to get your money going further during these trying times, from extra government help to saving on travel and time away.”

To help pensioners beat stress, here is a summary of the assistance available:

Millions of Britons anxiously wait to see if state pensions will rise due to inflation as promised¿Or will they have to accept a much smaller increase

Millions of Britons anxiously wait to see if state pensions will rise due to inflation as promised¿Or will they have to accept a much smaller increase

Millions of Britons are anxiously waiting to see if state pensions will rise due to inflation as promised – or if they will have to accept a much smaller increase

pension credit

Only two-thirds of those eligible apply for the pension credit, which increases the income of the poorest pensioners to £182.60 a week for a single and £278.70 a week for a couple.

If you are a carer or disabled, you can get further top-ups. It’s also a valuable way to access other benefits, such as helping you with your council tax bill and providing free TV licences for those over 75.

You may also be eligible for help with various NHS expenses, such as dental treatment, eyeglasses and travel to hospital appointments.

In addition, pension credit claimants are entitled to the Warm Home Discount, which is a one-off payment of £150 to your energy supplier, which will be deducted from your monthly bill between November and March.

extra help with heating

Those born before September 25, 1956 should automatically receive the winter fuel allowance and their state pension.

Typically, between £100 and £300 per pensioner, depending on their age and whether they live together. This year, a further £300 has been added due to the tightening cost of living.

The government also has other payments related to one-time living expenses.

Every energy bill payer automatically receives a £400 bill in six instalments.

People on pension credit are entitled to a further £650 in living expenses to help pay their general bills.Half should be banked in July, the rest will arrive in November

People on pension credit are entitled to a further £650 in living expenses to help pay their general bills.Half should be banked in July, the rest will arrive in November

People on pension credit are entitled to a further £650 in living expenses to help pay their general bills.Half should be banked in July, the rest will arrive in November

People on pension credit are entitled to a further £650 in living expenses to help pay their general bills. Half should be banked in July and the rest will be paid in November.

There is another energy-related payment method for pension credits – cold snap. If the average temperature is below freezing for seven consecutive days, they will automatically receive a cold weather grant of £25.

To be clear, there are five energy or cost of living payments – a warm home discount, a winter fuel payment, a cold weather payment, plus a cost of living payment and a £400 discount per person.

travel

You can get a free bus pass if you are over the national retirement age in England or over 60 in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It is not provided automatically, so you need to apply.

Londoners can use the 60+ London Oyster card to travel free on the city’s buses, tubes, trains and trams from the age of 60. Originally it cost £20. However, it can be renewed for £10 a year.

From the age of 65, they can switch to the Freedom Pass, which covers the London transport network as well as bus services across England.

For train travel, Senior Railcard offers a third non-rail ticket. The one-year card costs £30, while the three-year version is more affordable at £70.

For coach travel, the National Express Premium Coach Card costs £15 per year. It gives you a third of your travel discount, plus a £15 return anywhere in the UK mid-week.

healthy

In England, prescriptions can be written free of charge from the age of 60. This happens automatically and does not require any proof. It is free for all ages in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. You can get free eye exams from your peers. You don’t need to say anything when booking, but you should bring proof of age with you. Those on pension credit can also get glasses for free.

For those who must buy glasses, Specsavers and Boots Opticians offer discounts for those over 60. For example, Specsavers is offering 25% off all glasses over £69.

off day

If you’re a National Trust member – and for at least five of the past ten years – you can get a premium membership with a 25% discount.

Meanwhile, an English Heritage Premium membership over the age of 65 costs £59, down from £66.

Movie theaters often offer discounts for seniors. Odeon offers seniors £3.50 tickets and free refreshments for selected screenings, while Showcase Cinemas offers seniors £5 tickets every Monday morning.

Theaters and art galleries also often offer discounts for those over 60, so it’s worth checking out before visiting. Major football, rugby and cricket clubs offer senior discounts on season tickets and membership prices.

shopping and eating

Seniors can also get discounts at a range of shops and restaurants – it’s worth asking even if it’s not advertised.

Supermarket chain Iceland announced in May that it was helping seniors cope with the rising cost of living by offering a 10% discount every Tuesday for those over 60, with no minimum spend.

Boots has special deals for seniors over 60 on its Advantage Card, more points per pound spent in-store, special discounts, and special offers—plus extra points if you take a free hearing test.

B&Q is offering a free B&Q Diamond Card for those over 60, with a 10% discount on select products on Wednesdays. The discount is used to pay for any purchase, but since 2018 it has been limited to selected gardening and Christmas products.

Dobbies Garden Centres offers entrees and cakes for over 60s from £9.95 Monday to Friday. Its power supply alone typically costs over ten nanocoins.

Britons refuse heating, thermos sales soar

Isolde Walters for the Mail on Sunday

Thermos sales in department stores have more than tripled as homes across the country turn off thermostats to avoid a slump in energy bills this winter.

In John Lewis, sales are nearly four times what they were a year ago, as people prepare to warm their beds rather than turn on central heating when winter finally comes.

The surge in sales shows that people are looking for smart ways to prepare for cold winters – and sales of heating pads and blankets are also on the rise.

Consumer finance expert Martin Lewis has calculated that heating with a thermos can be as little as one-fifth the cost of installing a central heating system.

Thermos sales in department stores have more than tripled as homes across the country turn off thermostats to avoid a slump in energy bills this winter.Stock image of woman hugging thermos

Thermos sales in department stores have more than tripled as homes across the country turn off thermostats to avoid a slump in energy bills this winter.Stock image of woman hugging thermos

Thermos sales in department stores have more than tripled as homes across the country turn off their thermostats to avoid a slump in energy bills this winter.Stock image of woman hugging thermos

Energy experts recommend that homes turn down their thermostats by 1 degree to cut their heating bills by 10 percent.

By turning the dial down three degrees, households can save up to £375 a year under the new energy price cap.

Gareth Kloet of comparison site gocompare.com told the Daily Mail on Sunday: “According to the Energy Savings Trust, lowering your room temperature by just one degree can help you reduce your heating bill by about 10 per cent a year.

“Depending on how much energy you’re spending on heating, this can mean significant savings. Theoretically, by turning the heat down a few degrees, you could save even more.

Mr Lewis – who says we should “warm people not homes” – released a special edition of his Money Saver Newsletter this month with tips on how to keep your body warm at home without the heat. Practical advice. He said an entire email from people worried about their bills persuaded him to take action.

The cost difference between standard gas central heating and using a thermos is of course stark.

Mr Lewis’s team estimated the energy cost of a thermos at about 7p an hour, for a total of 56p for eight hours.

If you have a 33kW boiler – typically a three or four bedroom house – it will cost you £27.20 for an 8 hour heat blast.

That makes turning on the heat almost 50 times as expensive as hugging a thermos.

According to money saving experts, a 1.5-litre thermos costs around £5.50. Argos is offering one for £4.25, the lowest price for the item in the store’s history, while a John Lewis thermos with a lid costs around £25.

But not everyone turning to a thermos is putting the cost of living crisis at the forefront. Just look at the dizzying array of expensive luxury products on offer.

Harrods has a velvet thermos with a removable lavender sachet for £130. The Royal Collection sells a thermos with a cable-knit cashmere cover for £115.

Designer Anya Hindmarsh sells three lambswool thermos caps for £175 each on her website – and that price tag doesn’t include the thermos.

The thermos that keeps us all toasting this winter makes a world of difference.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *