Written by: Emma Lunn
Retirees have been urged to check if they can make a backdated claim for pension credit before the August 13 deadline.
After Tuesday, so-called “mixed-age” couples – where one partner is over the legal retirement age while the other is below – will have to wait until both partners are over the legal retirement age. retirement before applying for a pension credit.
The change was introduced on May 15, but claims can be backdated. To benefit from it, the oldest partner must have passed the legal retirement age and be able to claim the pension credit before 15 May.
Pension Credit is an income-related benefit which tops up a pensioner’s weekly income if it is less than £167.25 for singles or £255.25 for a couple.
Couples who do not meet the deadline will have to apply for universal credit until both partners reach the legal retirement age. It could cost some couples up to £7,000 a year.
Pension Credit also serves as a gateway to other benefits such as free TV licenses (as of 2020) and the Warm Home Discount.
Prospective claimants can call the Pensions Service on 0800 99 1234 with their national insurance number, income, savings and investment information and bank details. Complaints can be taken over the phone or a paper request can be made.
Helen Morrissey, pension specialist at Royal London, said: “The Pension Credit is designed to help the poorest pensioners and can have a significant impact on their standard of living. However, only a fraction of the number of those who can claim it actually do. Making a claim is quick and easy and we’re urging anyone who thinks they might be eligible to call the Pension Credit Claims Line before Tuesday or they could take a hit to their retirement income.