What is a pension credit and how do I apply for a free TV license? – The sun

MILLIONS of retirees may have to shell out for a TV license they could get for free – because they didn’t apply for retirement credit.

The government has estimated that 40 percent of retirees eligible for the benefit do not claim it, meaning up to 1.3 million people could be missing out.


From next year, those over 75 will need a pension credit to get a free TV licenseCredit: Getty – Contributor

The new BBC rules mean that from July 2020, those over 75 will no longer automatically get free licenses.

The change means 3.7 million retirees could have to shell out £ 157.50 for a color TV license or £ 53 for a black and white license.

Since the change will not affect households where a person is eligible for the government pension credit, it is important that anyone who qualifies for the benefit makes sure they get it.

Here is what you need to know.

What is the pension credit?

The pension credit is a means-tested benefit that helps low-income people by giving them extra money 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 are single and £ 255.25 per week for married couples.
  • Savings loan – provides additional money if you have saved money for retirement. You can get a supplement of £ 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 payments.

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

If they are disabled, you can get more.

Who is entitled to pension credit?

It is available for people over the statutory retirement age who live in England, Scotland or Wales.

This figure is currently rising to 66 for both men and women.

Depending on your date of birth, you may have a different legal retirement age.

You can check when yours is by using this government tool.

Previously, couples where one person was over retirement age could claim retirement, but new rules now mean that both people in a couple must be over retirement age to apply.

This means that if you are single and move in with a partner who is younger than the legal retirement age, you will no longer be eligible.

But if you are already receiving pension credits under the old system, this will only stop if your situation changes.

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 that you have saved, for example professional or private pension savings
  • Most social security benefits, for example care allowance
  • Any savings or investment worth more than £ 10,000
  • Earnings from a job

The calculation does not include:

  • Attendance allowance
  • christmas bonus
  • Disabled allowance
  • Personal independence payment
  • Housing allowance
  • Reduction of the housing tax

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

How to watch TV legally without paying a license

IN THE UNITED KINGDOM, any household watching or recording live television must have a TV license.

In recent years this has been extended to include BBC programming on iPlayer, whether live, catch-up or on-demand. But does everyone really need a permit? Here’s how to avoid paying – legally.

TV on demand – like catch-up TV and on-demand previews – which are available through services like ITV Player, All4, My5, BT Vision / BT TV, Virgin Media, Sky Go, Now TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku and Amazon Fire tv

Movies on demand – from services like Sky, Virgin Media, BT Vision, Netflix and Amazon Instant Video

Checked in films and programs – either via DVD or Blu-ray, or downloaded from the internet

Youtube – Video clips on demand via services like YouTube

How much will I get?

The amount that will be paid to you depends on your particular situation.

Fortunately, there is a useful government calculator, which will tell you exactly what you can expect to receive.

You will need to have a lot of financial information on hand, including details about your income, benefits, pensions, savings, and investments.

You will also need the same information for your partner if you have one.

You will not be able to use the calculator if you or your partner:

  • postpones state pension
  • own more than one property
  • is self-employed

Along with the income supplement, you’ll also be entitled to other benefits – so it’s worth checking out.

For example, if you get the guarantee loan, you will automatically be entitled to the maximum housing allowance, but you will have to apply separately.

You’ll also continue to get a free TV license and get cold weather payment as well.

How can I apply?

The fastest way to apply for annuity credit is by phone.

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 claim line on 0800 99 1234. It is open Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 7:30 pm.
You will need certain information before placing the call, including:

  • Your national insurance number
  • Information on your income, savings and investments
  • Details of the account you want the money to go to

The earliest possible date to apply is four months before reaching the statutory retirement age.

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

How will I be paid?

Your benefits are usually paid into an account, for example a bank account.

They are generally paid every four weeks.

You will be asked for your bank account, building society or credit union details when you make your claim.

But if you’re having trouble opening or managing an account, you might be able to claim in another way.

How can I use my retirement savings to continue to benefit from a free TV license?

The BBC said it would write to anyone who currently has a free license for those over 75 to let them know how they might be affected and what they will need to do.

He confirmed that anyone with a pension credit would still get their license for free, but said he would let people know how to apply “on time”.

However, it does indicate that you will need to keep your last pension letter of credit in a safe place.

The broadcaster said they could request a copy later when it’s time to apply, but you don’t need to send anything now.

If you don’t get pension credit, but live with a partner who does, the BBC has said you may need to transfer your TV license to the name of the person receiving the allowance.

You need to make sure that they keep their pension letter of credit in a safe place, as you may need to send it.

Millions of people are furious that those over 75 will lose their free TV license as the benefit is removed by the BBC.

Charity Age UK has warned that the additional bill could trigger “great concern and distress” for thousands of vulnerable retirees.

But here’s how to watch TV legally WITHOUT paying for a license.

BBC’s abolition of free TV license for those over 75 is a ‘slap in the face’ for millions of retirees, says Dame Esther Rantzen

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