AN astonishing £15 million in pension credit goes unclaimed in Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire every year, new figures have shown.

The unclaimed millions which the area’s poorest pensioners are missing out on have been highlighted in a report by Age Scotland.

In Paisley and Renfrewshire North, the predicted total unclaimed is £5.1million and in Paisley and Renfrewshire South it is even higher at £5.9million.

East Renfrewshire’s figure is £4.1million.

In terms of the number of households entitled to the money but not receiving it, Renfrewshire North has 1,963, Renfrewshire South has 2,350 and East Renfrewshire has 1,393.

Age Scotland’s Adam Stachura said people not claiming for pension credit were also missing out on “passported benefits” which could make a huge difference to their lives.

These include housing benefit, council tax reduction, cold weather payments as well as help with dentistry and glasses.

Now, Age Scotland is urging couples not to miss out on up to £10,777 before a major deadline for pension credit this month.

The charity’s campaign follows changes to the rules dubbed the “age gap tax” or “toy boy tax”. 

This is because mixed age couples - where one partner is working age - will no longer be eligible for the benefit after August 13.

Four in 10 of those entitled to it have not applied, often because they find the process confusing or feel too proud to claim it - despite being 100 per cent entitled to it.

Michelle Supple, Age Scotland’s director of charity services, said: “We believe this change is deeply unfair and will hit the poorest pensioners hardest. 

“Adding insult to injury, if one partner is aged 75 or over, this means they will not be eligible for a free TV licence from next year.”

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said: “It’s scandalous the UK Government aren’t doing more to identify potential pension credit recipients and make sure they’re getting the benefit they’re entitled to.

“A cynic might say it suits the DWP to keep pensioners in the dark and save money they can later give away in tax cuts for the rich.

“Boris Johnson doesn’t need the cash - our hard-pressed pensioners do.”

The charity is urging people to call its free helpline on 0800 12 44 222 before August 13 deadline to check if they are eligible.