Grandparents must apply for pension credit by tomorrow’s deadline or miss out on up to £70,000

THOUSANDS of pensioners could miss out on £70,000 or more in pension credit if they don’t register by tomorrow’s deadline.

The new rules, which affect all pensioners whose partners are younger than the legal retirement age, came into force on May 15, 2019.


Pensioners must apply for pension credit by next week or they could miss out on thousands of pounds in benefitsCredit: Getty – Contributor

But if you turned 65 before then, you have until tomorrow August 13 to submit a backdated claim.

Under the new system, pensioners will not be able to claim pension credit until their younger partners have reached retirement age.

But couples already receiving the benefit won’t be affected, so it’s important to apply as soon as possible.

If you miss tomorrow’s deadline, you will not have another chance to apply.

What is the pension credit?

The PENSION credit is a means-tested benefit that helps low-income people by giving them extra income throughout retirement.

The benefit has two components and retirees may be eligible for one or both components:

  • Guarantee credit – supplements your weekly income up to a guaranteed minimum level. It’s £167.25 per week if you’re single and £255.25 per week for married couples.
  • Savings loan – provides extra money if you’ve saved money for retirement. You can get an extra £13.75 per week for a single person or £15.35 per week for a married couple.

You can also get additional pension credit if you are disabled, have family responsibilities or have to pay certain housing costs such as mortgage interest.

For example, you can get either £53.34 per week or £63.84 per week for each child or young person you are responsible for.

If they are disabled, you can get more.

The government said the changes would cost couples £7,000 a year on average.

But Age UK says the cost for many families will be much higher than that.

The charity has found that one in 12 couples say they have an age gap of ten years or more, meaning they will lose over £70,000 by waiting for their partner to reach legal childbearing age. retirement.

A third of couples have an age gap of five years or more meaning they will miss £35,000 or more.

In addition to missing out on pension credit money, these couples will also be deprived of benefits such as free TV licenses, municipal tax cuts and cold weather payments.

How to apply for pension credit

THE fastest way to apply for a pension credit is by telephone.

You can ask a friend or family member to call you, but you’ll need to be with them when they do.

Simply call the pension credit application line on 0800 99 1234.

It is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

You will need certain information before making the call, including:

  • Your national insurance number
  • Information about your income, savings and investments
  • Details of the account you want the money to be paid into

You can use a paper application if you are unable to make a claim over the phone.

Contact a voluntary organization (eg Citizens Advice or AgeUK) in your area to request a paper application.

The earliest possible date to submit an application is four months before reaching the legal retirement age.

If you apply after reaching retirement age, you can backdate your application up to three months.

Many of those who will be affected by the government’s change to the pension credit rule have health issues or family responsibilities and are struggling to get by on the income they currently have.

But eligible retirees who receive their backdated claims before next week will continue to receive the pension credit along with other associated benefits.

This means that you will continue to receive the £7,000 a year regardless of your partner’s age.

If you are a retiree with a lower income, you should check now if you might qualify for the benefit.

Who is eligible for Pension Credit?

To qualify you will need to have a weekly income of less than £167.25 for singles or £255.25 for couples.

Your income is calculated taking into account various elements including:

  • Your state pension
  • Any other pension you have saved, e.g. occupational or private pension savings
  • Most social security benefits, e.g. care allowance
  • Any savings or investments worth more than £10,000
  • Employment income

The calculation does not include:

  • Attendance allowance
  • christmas bonus
  • Disabled allowance
  • Personal Independence Allowance
  • Housing allowance
  • Residence tax reduction

If your income is too high to qualify for a guaranteed pension credit, you can still qualify for a savings pension credit, so it’s worth checking.

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “We urge any pensioner who thinks there is any chance they may qualify for pension credit and/or housing benefit to apply. immediately, certainly before the August 13. deadline.

“If their claim is successful, it could make a huge difference to them in the future, potentially boosting their income by tens of thousands of pounds over the next few years.”

Any older person who is worried about money can contact Age UK by calling their national advice line on 0800 169 65 65, visiting the website or contacting local Age UK for free information and advice.

What is pension credit, how do I claim a free TV license and is there a calculator?

A BBC report has revealed that thousands of the UK’s poorest pensioners will not get a free TV license under new plans.

Pension pot scam charges ‘could wipe out savings’ as MPs demand a cap to reduce hidden charges.

Martin Lewis breaks down pension credits following BBC decision to scrap free TV licenses for over-75s

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