Pension credit: eligibility – GOV.UK

You must live in England, Scotland or Wales and be of statutory retirement age to be eligible for pension credit.

If you are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you and your family usually also need settlement or pre-settlement status under the settlement program of the EU to obtain a pension credit. The deadline to apply for the program was June 30, 2021 for most people, but you may still be able to apply. Check if you can still apply for the EU Settlement Scheme.

If you have a partner

You must include your partner in your application.

You will be eligible if:

  • you and your partner have both reached the legal retirement age
  • one of you receives housing benefit for people over state retirement age

A partner is either:

  • your husband, wife or civil partner – if you live with them
  • someone with whom you live as a couple, without being married or in a civil partnership

Your income

When you apply for pension credit, your income is calculated. If you have a partner, your earnings are calculated together.

Recharge of the pension credit:

  • your weekly income at £177.10 if you are single
  • your joint weekly income at £270.30 if you have a partner

If your income is higher, you may still qualify for pension credit if you have a disability, are caring for someone, have savings, or have housing costs.

What counts as income

Your income includes:

  • State pension
  • other retreats
  • income from employment and self-employment
  • most social security benefits, e.g. care allowance

What does not count as income

Not all benefits are considered income. For example, are not counted:

  • Attendance allowance
  • Christmas Bonuses
  • Family allowances
  • Disabled allowance
  • Payment for personal independence
  • social fund payments like winter fuel allowance
  • Housing allowance
  • Residence tax reduction

If you deferred your pension

If you are entitled to a personal or occupational pension and have not yet claimed it, the amount you expect to receive still counts as income.

If you have deferred your state pension, the amount of state pension you would get is considered income.

You cannot accumulate additional amounts to defer your state pension if you or your partner have a pension credit.

Your savings and investments

If you have £10,000 or less in savings and investments this will not affect your pension credit.

If you have more than £10,000, every £500 over £10,000 counts as £1 of income per week. For example, if you have £11,000 in savings, this counts as income of £2 per week.