Pension benefits & entitlements: Council Tax Reduction, Savings Credit, Pension Credit & more

With record numbers of pensioners struggling to make ends meet, it’s crucial that older Brits don’t miss out on any of the financial support available. Here's a rundown of the benefits and other help you could claim.

Almost one million UK pensioners living in poverty

Getting by financially in retirement has never been easy, but new Government figures reveal the situation may be more difficult than ever before.

According to data from the Department for Work and Pensions, nearly one million people over the age of 66 in the UK are living in deprivation, which is the highest number since comparable records began.

While these figures are extremely worrying, there are state benefits and other discounts that could help ease some of the burden for older people.

In this guide, we've rounded up a range of extra perks you could receive, provided you meet the relevant criteria.

If you've taken advantage of all the assistance available and are still struggling, check out this guide to boosting your income in retirement.

Claim Pension Credit & benefits

Top up your pension income

Pension Credit is made up of two parts, namely Guarantee Pension Credit and Savings Credit.

The purpose of Guarantee Pension Credit is to top up low incomes, bringing them up to a minimum of £218.15 for single people and £332.95 for a couple.

Savings Credit is an additional payment for people who saved some money towards their retirement, such as a workplace pension. 

It is worth up to £17.01 extra for individuals or up to £19.04 for couples.

Take a look at this page to see if you can benefit.

Claim Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit can help pay your rent if you have passed State Pension age and have a low income or are claiming other benefits.

There’s no set amount that you can claim ‒ a range of factors can influence how much you receive, such as whether you are renting through the Local Authority or privately, your household income, and your circumstances.

For example, if you are renting privately, the amount you can claim is either your Local Housing Allowance (LHA) or your actual rent, whichever is lower.

The LHA is a measure of how much rent a person can reasonably expect to pay to live in a particular area.

You can apply for Housing Benefit through your local council or as part of a Pension Credit claim.

 You can find more information in this section of the website.

Get help with your Council Tax

You could get a helping hand with your Council Tax through the Council Tax Reduction scheme. In fact, your bill could be reduced by up to 100%.

The amount you receive will depend on a host of factors, including your location (each council runs its own scheme), your household income and any savings you have.

You can apply for Council Tax reduction through this section of the Government’s website.

Read more: 9 ways to stretch your funds in retirement

Free prescriptions

It costs £9.65 per item to fill an NHS prescription, but if you’re aged 60 or over and living in England, you won’t have to pay anything.

If you live somewhere else in the UK, you're entitled to free prescriptions, regardless of your age. 

Save on pharmacy meds with ChemistDirect

Help with your heating

The Government has a few long-standing initiatives to help cover heating costs in the bitter winter months.

Winter Fuel Payment

The Winter Fuel Payment is available to those born on or before 25 September 1957.

The amount you get depends on your age and who lives in your house, with payments ranging from £250 to £600 a year.

The deadline for claiming payments for the winter is 31 March each year.

Those who have received a payment in previous years shouldn’t have to make another claim – it’ll be given to you automatically.

You should also qualify automatically if you meet the age and residence criteria and receive another Government benefit, including State Pension, Pension Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance.

Learn more here, or call the Winter Fuel Payment helpline on 0800 731 0160 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. 

Cold Weather Payment

You’ll receive a £25 payment when your local temperature is either recorded as, or forecast to be, an average of zero degrees Celsius or below over seven consecutive days between 1 November and 31 March each year.

If you’re entitled to other income-related benefits such as Pension Credit, Income Support or Universal Credit, you’ll be eligible for Cold Weather Payments. It’ll be paid automatically too.

If it isn’t, tell your pension centre or Jobcentre Plus office or if you’re getting Universal Credit, contact 0800 328 9344.

Be aware, Cold Weather Payments aren’t available in Scotland, although you may be entitled to an annual Winter Heating Payment instead.

Warm Homes Discount

You can get £150 off your electricity bill through the Warm Homes Discount scheme.

If you are eligible, you’ll usually receive the discount automatically, although you’ll need to apply if you’re on a low income and live in Scotland.

It won't be paid to you directly: it's a one-off lump sum that will be taken off your electricity bill at some point between September and March.

You can qualify for the discount if all of the following apply:

Note, the Warm Home Discount scheme is currently closed and will reopen in October 2024.

If you were eligible for the scheme during winter 2023 and 2024 but didn’t receive your payment, you should contact your energy supplier.

You can then write to the Warm Homes Discount scheme directly if your provider is unable to help.

Insulation and heating schemes

You can receive free loft insulation under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme and other grants.

The aim is to improve household energy efficiency for those on a low income who are living in poorly insulated homes.

Other improvements may include cavity wall insulations, smart heating controls, better heating and solar panels.

Contact the Energy Saving Trust (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) and Nest (Wales) for more information.

There is also a full list of participating energy suppliers on the Ofgem website.


Get the best price on a new boiler

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Personal Independence Payment

Personal Independence Payments (PIP), formerly the Disability Living Allowance, will cover you if you have long-term ill-health or a disability and are aged 16 to 64.

It is split into two components, with each having a standard and enhanced rate.

The ‘daily living’ component pays either £72.65 or £108.55 and is intended to provide financial help with everyday tasks such as washing and cooking.

The ‘mobility’ component provides help with moving around and pays either £28.70 or £75.75.

You can find more details on the Government's website

Attendance Allowance

People who are 65 or over could get help with personal care through Attendance Allowance if they’re physically or mentally disabled. It’s paid at two different rates (higher and lower) and the amount you receive is dependent on how much care you need.

The lower rate is currently £72.65 a week and the higher is £108.55.

Other benefits you receive may also increase when you start claiming Attendance Allowance.

Free eye tests for over 60s

Over 60s are eligible for free eye tests and Specsavers also offers a 20% discount on certain ranges for those in this age bracket. Likewise, Boots provides 10% discounts for the over 60s, as well as all additional pairs being half price.

You could also get help towards dental treatment and travel costs to the hospital.


Free bus pass

Those living in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland qualify for a free bus pass when they reach the age of 60.

In England, you’ll become eligible when you reach State Pension age.

However, there are some regional differences to consider ‒ over 60s can travel for free on public transport in London, for example.

Get more information on how to apply here.

Senior Railcard

Senior Railcard will give you a third off standard and first class anytime, off-peak and advance fares.

A one-year card costs £30 and the three-year option is £70.

Free passport

British nationals born on or before 2 September 1929 could get a free passport, saving you up to £112.

Heading abroad? Don't forget the travel insurance

Entertainment, shopping and culture

Silver screenings

Odeon holds cheaper screenings for 'seniors' during the week, complete with a cup of tea and a biscuit.

See How to get cheap and free cinema tickets for more details.


A lot of museums offer money off for senior citizens. The National Trust offers reduced-price membership too. 

War pensioners and widows

If your partner died as a result of their service in the Armed Forces or during a time of war, then you may be entitled to a War Widow’s or Widower’s Pension.

Get your claim form from Veterans UK by phoning 0808 1914 218.

Home repairs

Age UK offers handyperson services across most of the country to give older people help with small practical jobs.

You can enter your postcode on this page to see if this is available where you live.

Tradespeople can help with basic repairs, installing safety measures such as smoke alarms, home security and energy efficiency checks.

You can call Age UK to see what services they can help you find on 0800 678 1602 or search for your local centre online.

*This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission on any sales of products or services we write about. This article was written completely independently.


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