Retirees whose pensions are under government determined threshold, might be eligible for Pension Credit.
What is Pension Credit?
Every Pension Credit consists of two segments: Savings Credit and Guarantee Credit. Every retiree on a low-income State Pension is eligible for a Guarantee Credit.
Am I eligible for Pension Credit?
If you are eligible for a Guarantee Credit, your income will be increased so that it reaches ₤182.60 for individuals per week, and ₤278.70 per week for couples. That means you are eligible for a Guarantee credit as long as your pension income doesn’t exceed those amounts. However, there are certain exceptions:
Be aware that under the new pension laws, only those that meet the requirements and have retired before 6th April 2016 are eligible for a Saving Credit.
Pension credit is also means tested, so if you have more than £10’000 in savings, you may not be eligible to claim.
Rule change for couples as of 15th of May, 2019
In some cases, when one of the partners is of retirement age, but the other one isn’t, it may not be possible to get a Pension credit.
According to the rules effective from 15th May of 2019, couples can claim a pension credit if they meet the following criteria:
- One of the partners has reached retirement age, is eligible for pension credit, and is claiming housing benefits on behalf of both of you, as a couple.
- Both are at a pension credit qualifying age.
The couples that received pension credit before the new regulations were introduced should be able to carry on receiving it. That’s under the assumption that their circumstances haven’t significantly changed in the meantime. For example, their income hasn’t increased significantly.
On the other hand, those that claimed pension credit as individuals and started to live with a partner after 15th May 2019, won’t be able to get their pension credit anymore. So, as long as their circumstances stay like that, they won’t be able to meet the criteria explained above.
What are the Pension Credit benefits?
Receiving pension credit doesn’t only bring you extra income, but you get access to a list of other benefits as well. That includes:
- If the outside temperature falls below 0°C for seven consecutive days, you are eligible for a weather payoff of ₤25.
- Subsidies that can help you with your transport if you need to visit a hospital or towards obtaining new glasses
- Free dentistry, courtesy of the NHS
- You are eligible for additional ₤37.50 per week if you are a carer. The payment will be issued in the form of carer addition or extra carer premium.
- If you live on your own in a town, you might get an exemption from paying a Council Tax.
- Private tenants can see their rent paid by the Housing Benefit.
- Homeowners might be eligible for assistance with extra charges such as mortgage interest, ground rent, and even service charges.
Retirees aged 75 and over who receive pension credit are exempt from paying for their TV license. Recently, the BBC changed its rules so that retirees aged 75 and older won’t have access to a free TV license if they don’t receive pension credit. This new change is in force since 2020.
How do I apply for Pension Credit?
Once you reach a State Pension age, you can use the pension credit claim line to get information. You should dial 0800 99 1234 or textphone 0881690133.
Before you call, make sure that you have the following documents and details at hand. That way, the operator can sort out your case swiftly and efficiently.
- Your bank account details
- Your National Insurance number
- Details of any savings, investments, and other forms of income
- Details of any pensions assigned to your name
- Housing cost details such as a mortgage, rent, service charges, interest payments, etc.
- Those that live with a partner need to give their details as well. That includes details such as their name, national insurance number, date of birth, etc.