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“What is the pension credit? Is searched 9.3,000 times per month, making it the most asked pension question in the UK, according to Profile Pensions,
The pension credit is a weekly ‘top-up’ benefit for people who have reached retirement age and have low incomes. It is “means-tested” which means that the amount you receive depends on your personal circumstances, but aims to “supplement” your weekly income to a guaranteed amount. minimum level.
When you apply, the government’s calculations take into account your income, including any income (plus pensions), as well as most benefits and any savings over £ 10,000. Your main residence will not be counted. All payments made are tax exempt.
The claimed average is £ 58 per week (according to government figures), which is over £ 3,000 per year in additional income.
Are you missing retirement credit?
Currently, around 2.5 million households are claiming pension credit, but many more are missing – simply because they don’t know or even might be eligible for it.
“We have estimated that up to 1 million people are not receiving the help they are entitled to through Pension Credit,” says Deborah Alsina MBE, CEO of Independent Age, the national charity for the elderly. . “This alone represents over £ 1.5bn in pension credit which is not reaching those who need it most.”
As a single person, you must have reached the legal retirement age to claim the pension credit, and if you are in a couple, you must either both must be of legal retirement age to claim, or can apply if any of you are receiving housing allowance for people over the legal retirement age.
How much is the Pension Credit worth?
The Pension Credit is made up of two parts: the Guarantee Credit and the Savings Credit. You can claim part or both.
The Guarantee Credit “recharges” your weekly income up to a guaranteed minimum level which is £ 177.10 for singles and £ 270.30 for a couple.
The savings loan is paid out as a “reward” if you have saved for your retirement, for example through a pension plan. However, you can only start applying for the savings loan if you have reached the legal retirement age before 6 years old.e April 2016. It is worth up to £ 13.97 per week for a single person and £ 15.62 for a couple.
As with all government credits and benefits, if your circumstances change it may affect any entitlement and you should report any changes on the government website.
Pension credit calculator
You can use the pension credit calculator on the government website to see how much you could claim.
You may also be able to get more in certain circumstances, including if you are a caregiver or caregiver. You can find out more here.
The pension credit unlocks other advantages
Applying for a pension credit means that you can also claim other payments and benefits.
“The pension credit is a lifeline for retirees most in need of financial support, and can also act as a gateway to the Warm Home Discount, free NHS prescriptions, counseling tax support, testing free eyepieces, a free television license for over 75s and many. others, ”says Deborah Alsina MBE of Independent Age.
“Combined, this support could be worth around £ 7,000 a year for an individual.”
Apply for a pension credit
You can apply up to four months before reaching the statutory retirement age and apply at any time thereafter, but requests can only be backdated for three months.
When you apply, you will need your National Insurance Number along with details of all your income, pensions and savings, and your bank details. When it comes to payment, the pension credit is usually paid directly to your bank, mortgage company, or post office account every four weeks.
If you live in England, Wales or Scotland, you can apply online or by mail, or by calling the Pension Credit Claim Line on 0800 99 1234.
If you live in Northern Ireland you can find details on how to apply here.
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