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Catch up with the latest press releases from LV=

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Half of parents confused by state benefits

Press release: 07/03/2016

  • Millions of parents are confused by state benefits [1]
  • LV= finds many parents aren’t claiming support despite being eligible
  • Child Benefit provides £1,076 a year, so families could be missing out on thousands

Figures from LV=’s 13th Cost of a Child study reveal half (49%) of parents are confused by the array of state benefits available to them, and many don’t claim them even though they are eligible.

All parents qualify for Child Benefit if they earn less than £60,000 a year. Based on income levels, three quarters (76%) of parents are eligible for this benefit, but only six in ten (61%) claim it. Child Benefit provides parents with up to £1,076 a year for the first child so, with the cost of raising a child now averaging more than £11,000 a year, it could offer families significant support.

LV= also found that a third (32%) of parents would need to rely on state benefits if the main breadwinner was unable to work due to illness or injury, but three in ten (28%) say they wouldn’t know how to claim Employment and Support Allowance.

With previous LV= research showing six in ten (60%) parents are struggling with their finances, LV= is asking Government to make the rules around state benefits clearer so parents can understand what support they are entitled to and how to claim. We also want Government to provide greater clarity on how other arrangements – such as private insurance – can complement state benefits, so those who choose to protect their income themselves aren’t disadvantaged.

Myles Rix, Managing Director, Protection at LV= said: “It’s worrying that so many parents are confused by the system and aren’t taking advantage of the support they’re entitled to. We urge parents to think about putting a financial safety net in place to help them if they’re unable to work, as while state benefits are important they are not guaranteed and often only provide the most basic support.

“With the introduction of Universal Credit bringing yet more changes, the Government should focus on making it easier for parents and financial advisers to understand what support is available, and not penalise those parents who have protected themselves."

[1] According to further ONS data, there are 28.9 million families with dependent children in the UK – as 49% of parents are confused by state benefits, this would imply that at least 14.5 million parents are confused (as each family will have at least one parent).

For further information please contact:

Robyn Margetts,, 0207 634 4418 / 07342 056 747

Beth Hardwick,, 020 3657 9778 / 07710 529953

Notes to Editors

Cost of a child calculations, from birth to 21 years, were compiled by the Centre of Economic and Business Research (CEBR) for LV= in December 2015 and are based on the cost for the 21 year period to December 2015.

Additional research was conducted by Opinium Research from 22 to 27 January 2016. The total sample size was 1,000 UK adults with children under the age of 18 and was conducted online. Results have been weighted to a nationally representative criteria.

About LV=:

LV= employs over 6,000 people and serves over 5.7 million customers with a range of financial products. We are the UK’s largest friendly society and a leading financial mutual.

When we started in 1843 our goal was to give financial security to more than just a privileged few and for many decades we were most commonly associated with providing a method of saving to people of modest means. Today we follow a similar purpose, helping people to protect and provide for the things they love, although on a much larger scale and through a wide range of financial services including insurance, investment and retirement products.

We offer our services direct to consumers, as well as through IFAs and brokers, and through strategic partnerships with organisations including ASDA and Nationwide Building Society.

Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. LVFS is a member of the ABI, the AFM and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.