Retirees could get a vital financial boost with Pension Credit, but up to a million people could miss out. We show you how it works, eligibility and how to claim.
Pension credit: are you missing something?
Many retirees are not clamoring for the lifesaving government assistance they are entitled to, according to a new report.
Government statistics show that around one million eligible retirees do not receive pension credit, missing a vital boost to their pension income.
Helen Morrissey, senior pension and pension analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, believes it’s because many don’t even know the pension credit exists, or mistakenly think they can’t claim it.
“The pension credit also serves as a gateway to other benefits, such as those over 75 who can get a free television license,” she explains.
“You can also get help with heating and municipal tax bills, which can potentially be of huge help.
“With inflation really starting to show its teeth and energy bills on the rise, many retirees are facing a real drop in their income over the next few months and any additional income is welcome. “
In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about pension credit, including who qualifies, how much it’s worth, and how to claim it.
What is the pension credit?
The pension credit is an income related benefit that can increase your state pension.
It is made up of two parts: the Guarantee Credit and the Savings Credit.
Guarantee credit is a weekly payment that you can get to supplement your income to a minimum level.
The savings loan is a supplement for those who have saved money for their retirement, for example in a pension.
How much is the state pension worth now
How much can you get?
The Guarantee Credit supplements your income up to £ 177.10 per week if you are single or £ 270.30 if you are in a relationship.
The savings credit pays up to an additional £ 14.04 per week if you are single or £ 15.71 per week if you are in a relationship.
You can use the government pension credit calculator to determine how much you might 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 the rules means that a couple can only apply if both have reached state retirement age.
If one of the partners has reached retirement age and claims a housing allowance for a couple, he or she can claim a pension credit.
Who is eligible for the Pension Credit and the Savings Credit?
Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for one or both parts of the pension credit.
The pension credit is available if you live in Great Britain and you and your partner have reached the age of 66.
You can use this calculator to check your eligibility age.
To be eligible for the Guarantee Credit, your weekly income must be less than £ 177.10 if you are single or £ 270.30 for couples.
You may be eligible to claim a refund even if your weekly income is higher if you have a severe disability, are a caregiver, or have to pay housing costs such as a mortgage. Find out more here.
The savings credit is only available for people who have reached retirement age before April 6, 2016.
If you are eligible for the 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 is worth asking for potential access to other aid.
Use a benefits calculator to figure out what else you can get.
When can you claim?
You can apply for a pension credit no earlier than four months before you reach the qualifying age.
You can also apply at any time after reaching retirement age, but your request can only be backdated for three months.
How to apply for a pension credit
To obtain a pension credit, you must apply for it.
The fastest way to do this is to call the pension credit application line on 0800 99 1234 (text phone: 0800 169 0133). It is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
An agent will complete the application for you over the phone.
If you do not wish to make a complaint over the phone, you can request a paper request.
You will need your National Insurance Number, information about your income, pensions, savings and investments, and your bank account details to make a claim.