Policy in Practice

Mail helped make London’s pensioners better off by over £8 million a year


Over 8,000 pensioners across London are entitled to Pension Credit but are not claiming it. Policy in Practice, a social policy and analytics company, drove an initiative to engage with eligible residents.

Pension Credit is an extra support to help you cover costs if you're over the State Pension age and living on a low income. It is one of the most underclaimed benefits and over £245 million was estimated to be unclaimed in London. This meant a third of eligible pensioners were missing out on a top up to their monthly income as well as help with other costs like heating, housing costs and council tax. Many pensioners do not claim as they are simply unaware of the support.

In 2023 Policy in Practice partnered with public sector communications experts CFH on this critical campaign to inform pensioners of their eligibility for Pension Credit and signpost them to apply.


Commissioned by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, Policy in Practice’s campaign used local authority data to identify residents who were eligible for support across 17 London boroughs.

  • Mail was identified as the most effective communications channel to engage low-income pensioners due to JICMAIL research showing that over 65’s and those from lower socio-economic groups particularly are more likely to engage with mail sent from local authorities.
  • TGI Consumer Analysis identified that residents agree that important messages, including those from public bodies, are better sent via mail. This form of communication is more trusted, more memorable and gains more attention when compared to email communications.
  • Further research from JICMAIL Government/Council Mail 2023 showed that mail received from a government agency has a 99% engagement rate, is referred to over five times and has a life span in the home of over a week, reminding people to act.

Through a collaborative approach, CFH’s hybrid mail product Docmail was identified as the ideal solution to fulfil the mailing requirements. Docmail is a leading hybrid mail platform that enables printed communications to be sent straight to an end audience, through a secure account. As a part of the functionality the solution allows organisations to integrate with the software for mailing automation.

The API integration meant that Policy in Practice’s audience database became directly linked to Docmail, allowing for the functionality to operate in the background to manage the creation and sending of the letters. The output was personalised letters sent effortlessly on behalf of the respective councils. 

The letters were sent in a non-window envelope which featured the Age UK London logo and the recipient’s council logo on the front. These reputable logos ensured pensioners knew the communication was trustworthy and the information was legitimate. Inside the envelopes were double-sided letters, printed in colour for greater engagement. The copy informed pensioners of their eligibility and signposted them to services such as Age UK London for help with the application process. Recipients were provided with a web address and telephone number to claim.


As a result of Policy in Practice’s first mailing, 2,300 pensioners have seen an average increase of nearly £4,000 a year in pension credit, unlocking over £8.4 million in annual support. When factoring in cost-of-living payments and backdated support, the impact in the first year alone exceeded £12.5 million. The campaign's lifetime impact is estimated to surpass £100 million. 

This initiative not only secured financial support for pensioners but also addressed social issues. By engaging with their local authority and Age UK London, claimants were able to discuss and pursue other benefits and support services. This helped them avoid loneliness, repay debts and connect with housing teams when needed. 

CFH is working with Policy in Practice on the second phase of this campaign, which will continue to be funded by the Mayor. The campaign will expand to 23 boroughs and is expected to secure an additional £9 million.


Source: CFH Docmail

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