DSS plans 2m pensioners push

The Department of Social Security is to target up to 700,000 pensioners who may be missing out on benefits, and is considering hiring an ad agency to run a 2.5m information campaign.

The campaign will inform pensioners who do not receive the full state pension that they may be missing out on income support, such as housing and council tax benefit.

A DSS spokesman says: “We are looking at different ways to contact these people to come and collect their benefit. There are between 400,000 and 700,000 pensioners who could be entitled to income support.”

He says the Labour Party has a manifesto commitment to help the poorest pensioners, and this involves informing them of their entitlements. However, he says the Government has yet to be decided whether an ad campaign would be more effective than other forms of communication such as direct mail or calling the pensioners direct.

It is understood ad agencies on the Central Office of Information roster have been contacted about the campaign.

The DSS is still awaiting confirmation on who will fill the post of minister for pensions following the recent reshuffle that saw minister of state at the DSS John Denham promoted to health minister.

It is likely that Stephen Timms will take on the pensions brief, reporting to Secretary of State for Social Security Alistair Darling.

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