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Pension Credit: Who can claim and how much?

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While most of us may have heard of Housing Benefit or Job Seekers allowance, Pension Credit might not be something we are aware of. So if you are of pension age or have family or friends that are, then you may be interested to learn a little more about the benefit which you don’t pay tax on and that can top up the weekly income and provide a little more for those enjoying their retirement.

Do you qualify for Pension Credit or know someone that does?

If you are single and receive below £145.40 or a couple receiving less that £222.05 then you may be entitled to Pension Credits which is made up from two elements; the ‘guaranteed credit’ and the ‘savings credit’.  The guaranteed credit is a top up of your income if it falls below the amounts given. So if you are single and your weekly income is below £145.40, the guaranteed credit will top up your income to £145.40. For couples receiving under £222.05 per week, their income will be topped up to that amount also. The Savings Credit is based on your income and savings and could provide you with an additional £18.06 per week for single people or an extra £22.89 for couples.

To qualify for the guaranteed credit, you must live in the UK and you or your partner must have reached the Pension Credit qualifying age, which is currently increasing to 66 in line with the qualifying age for state pensions.  Savings Credit is available for those over65 and who have a pension or savings towards retirement. Your income and savings will be calculated to determine whether you qualify for the credit with your pension, social security benefits and savings or investments over £10,000 being taken into consideration. However, housing benefits, council tax reduction or Disability Living Allowance will not form part of this.

Pension credit, pensioner runningHow to claim Pension Credit

Claiming Pension Credits can be done either by post or phone. You will either need to fill in a form called a PC1 which is available online and then sending it to your local pension centre. Alternatively, you call the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234 / text phone 0800 169 0133, providing your national insurance number, income information and bank details.  You can claim up to 4 months prior to reaching pension age or at any time during pension age. Payments can even be backdated up to 3 months. Any credit is paid directly into your bank account and should you have any queries, you will be able to receive advice and information from your benefits advisor or from your local Citizens Advice Bureau. You can also contact the Pension Service Hotline, Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm on 0845 60 60 265 or text phone 0800 169 0133 if you are unsure if you are entitled or if your circumstances change at any point.

Not all pensioners are aware of their benefit entitlement

Whilst many pensioners nowadays are very internet savvy and relishing in their ‘silver surfer’ status, its worth remembering that not everyone may be aware of benefits they may be entitled to, where to look or how to claim if they are. So try and be on hand to offer help with filling in online forms or even just pointing them in the right direction such as the Pension Service Hotline if you feel a friend or relative may benefit from Pension Credits or need assistance with a claim.

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About Rebecca Robinson

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About Rebecca Robinson

After spending the last 8 years juggling life as a mum of two, wife and working full time as a Project Manager for a global telecommunications company, Rebecca Robinson made the decision to follow her love of writing and took the plunge; turning her passion into a full time career. Since becoming a full time writer, Rebecca has worked with various media and copy-writing companies and with the ability to make any topic relevant and interesting to the reader, now contributes to The Working Parent on articles ranging from credit cards to teenage relationships. Ever the optimist, Rebecca's dreams for the future include a house in the country filled with children, dogs and horses in the field!

Website: Rebecca Robinson

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