Pension Credit: what you need to know

If you’re on a low income and reached state pension age, you may be able to claim some extra cash in the form of Pension Credit.

What is Pension Credit?

It’s a ‘top up’ payment that boosts your weekly income to a guaranteed minimum level. And it’s tax free too. Around two million households currently claim it, but it’s reckoned around one million may be missing out.

How much is it worth?

The ‘average’ amount claimed is £58 a week; over £3,000 a year according to Government figures.

However there’s no ‘one size fits all’ payment as Pension Credit is ‘means tested’. This means how much you get depends on your income, including any pensions and benefits and any savings over £10,000 will be counted too, although not your main home.

Pension Credit comes in two parts, and you can claim one, or both.

Guarantee Credit can ‘boost’ your income to a minimum of £173.75 a week for a single person, and £265.20 for a couple.

Savings Credit is basically a reward if you’ve saved for retirement; say in a pension. It’s worth £13.97 a week for a single person and £15.62 for a couple. You must have reached state pension age before 6th April 2016 in order to start claiming Savings Credit.

Check if you can claim

No need to worry about doing the number crunching yourself. Here’s the easy way to check if you can claim. All you do is plug your details into the Government’s Pension Credit calculator

Claiming Pension Credit also opens the doors to some other discounts and benefits including a free TV licence, (if you’re over 75), along with help with council tax.

Making a claim

You can find out more about how to claim here or call the Government Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234.

Payments are usually made every four weeks straight to your bank account.

If your situation changes, this can affect the level of Pension Credit you claim, so call the Pension Credit helpline and let them know.

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