Pensions minister Steve Webb has announced a DWP experiment in which 2,000 pensioners who have not claimed but are entitled to pension credit will be paid the benefit for 12 weeks.
Webb says the project will look at ways of making better use of the data held about individuals, both from DWP administrative records and those of HMRC, in order to help improve the take-up of pension credit.
The 2,000 pensioners who do not claim pension credit, but are eligible for it, will be chosen at random, and payments will begin in December.
Webb says the study will help to find out "how in the long term a reshaping of the benefit or acquisition of better data might enable the Government to streamline radically the process" for paying pension credit.
Benefits will be paid into the same bank account as the state pension, and those selected will be notified in writing around three weeks before payments begin.
Participation in the trial will not effect any other benefits and no tax will be taken from the payments.
Shadow pensions minister Rachel Reeves says: "Though Labour lifted 900,000 pensioners out of poverty, there are still many pensioners below the poverty line and this needs to be addressed.
"Pension Credit accounts for around half of all unclaimed benefits for pensioners and I support the government's drive to increase the uptake of pension credit."
Currently pension credit, for those eligible, is a weekly payment topping up incomes to £132.60 for single people and £202.40 for couples.
For eligible over 65s, there is an additional credit of £20.52 and £27.09 for couples.
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