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What does Pension Credit mean?

Pension Credit is an income-related benefit for people in retirement. If you’re on a low income or struggling with your money, you may be eligible for Pension Credit. It comes in two parts and you could get one or both parts.

  • The first part is called Guarantee Credit. You can claim Guarantee Credit if your weekly income is less than £167.75 if you’re single, or £255.25 if you’re a couple, and you’re an eligible age.
  • The second part is called Savings Credit can provide some extra money if you’ve got some savings already or if your income exceeds the basic State Pension. It is available to you if you reached State Pension age before the 6 April 2016. You could get up to: £13.73 extra a week if you’re a single person or £15.35 if you’re a couple.

Am I eligible?

There isn’t a savings limit for Pension Credit, but if you have over £10,000 this will affect how much you receive if you claiming either Guarantee Credit or Savings Credit.

Guarantee Credit

You may be eligible for Guarantee Credit if you’ve already reached State Pension age. You can check your eligibility using the Government State Pension calculator.

If you’re an eligible age, but your weekly income is higher than the income thresholds, you may still be able to claim Guarantee Credit if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You have a severe disability.
  • You are a carer.
  • You have to pay housing costs like a mortgage.

Savings Credit

If you’ve reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016, you are eligible to claim the Savings Credit part of Pension Credit.

If you’re a couple and one of you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016, you may be able to claim. Check out the Changes to Pension Credit section to find out how it could affect you.

Changes to couple’s Pension Credit

From the 15 May 2019, there will be changes for mixed-age couples who want to claim Pension Credit. If you’re affected by the changes, hurry up and make a claim for Pension Credit or Housing Benefit now, before the changes come into effect.

From 15 May 2019, if you are in a couple both of you will need to reach State Pension age before you can claim Pension Credit or Housing Benefit. Instead, you will need to apply for Universal Credit. However, because Universal Credit is less than pension-age benefits, you could lose out on quite a bit of money.

If you’re already claiming either of these benefits on 14 May 2019, you shouldn’t be affected. To find out more about the changes, visit the Government’s website. Or AgeUK is a good source of information.

If your circumstances change or you take a break from claiming, you may be asked to claim Universal Credit instead. Things that might affect your claim include:

  • Moving out of your local authority area to a new address
  • Going abroad for more than 4 weeks
  • A change in the amount of money and assets you have
  • If you stop claiming a benefit that is linked to Pension Credit or Housing Benefit.
  • Separating from your partner and then getting back together.

Check your entitlement to other benefits

If you’re entitled to Pension Credit, you may well be entitled to these other benefits too:

  • Free or discounted Council Tax.
  • Free NHS dental treatment.
  • Cold weather payment of £25 when the temperature is 0 °C or below for 7 days in a row.
  • Housing Benefit – you may get your rent paid in full.
  • If you own your own home, you may get help with your mortgage interest, ground rent and services charges.
  • If you’re a carer, you may get Carer Premium or Carer Addition.

Do I need a bank account?

You will need to have a bank or building society account to collect Universal Credit. Find out which ones are the best and how to open one, click here.