Pension Credit: what it is, eligible age, what it pays and how to claim

Pensioners could get a financial boost with Pension Credit. We reveal how it works, eligibility and how to claim.

What is Pension Credit?

Pension Credit is an income-related benefit that can boost your State Pension. It’s made up of two parts: Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.

Guarantee Credit is a weekly payment that you can get to top-up your income to a minimum level.

Savings Credit is a reward for those that have saved some money towards their retirement, for example in a pension.

How much the State Pension increased is now worth

How much can you get?

Guarantee Credit tops up your income to £173.75 a week if you’re single or £265.20 if you’re in a couple.

Savings Credit pays up to £13.97 extra a week if you’re single or £15.62 a week if you’re in a couple.

You can use the Government’s Pension Credit calculator to work out how much you could get.

You are treated as a couple if you live with your husband, wife or partner – but you don’t have to be married or in a civil partnership.

Since last May, a change in rules means a couple can only claim if both of them have reached State Pension age.

If one partner has reached State Pension age and is claiming Housing Benefit for a couple, they may be able to claim for Pension Credit.

Take control of your pension savings with a SIPP (capital at risk)

Who is eligible?

Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for one or both parts of Pension Credit.

Pension Credit is available if you live in Great Britain and you and your partner have reached the qualifying age, which is rising to 66 by October 2020 in line with planned changes to the State Pension age.

You can use this calculator to check what your qualifying age is.

To be eligible for Guarantee Credit, your weekly income must be less than £173.75 if you're single or £265.20 for couples.

You may be able to claim even if your weekly income is higher if you have a severe disability, you are a carer or have to pay housing costs such as a mortgage.

Savings Credit is only available to people that reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016.

If you are entitled to Pension Credit, you may also be eligible for other benefits. So, even if you are only eligible for a small amount of Pension Credit, it’s worth claiming to potentially get access to other help.

Use a benefits calculator to figure out what else you can get.

Take control of your pension savings with a SIPP (capital at risk)

When can you claim?

The earliest you can apply for Pension Credit is four months before you reach the qualifying age.

You can also claim any time after you reach Pension State age, but your claim can only be backdated for three months.

How to claim Pension Credit

In order to get Pension Credit, you need to make a claim for it.

The quickest way to do this is by calling the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234 (textphone: 0800 169 0133). It’s open Monday to Friday, 8am to 7:30pm.

An agent will fill in the application for you over the phone.

If you don’t want to make a claim by phone, you can request a paper application.

You will need your National Insurance number, information about your income, pensions, savings and investments plus your bank account details to make a claim.

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