Pension Credit is a means-tested benefit, which can be claimed by some state pension claimants. It is made up of two parts, and these are Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit. The former is a top-up amount, which tops up one’s weekly income if it’s below £167.25 for single people or £255.25 for couples. Savings Credit is an additional payment for those who saved some money towards their retirement – such as via a pension.
That said, an individual may not be eligible for Savings Credit if they reached their state pension age on or after April 6, 2016.
Pension Credit is a tax-free amount, meaning, unlike the state pension, one does not pay tax on it.
A person might get more Pension Credit if they’re responsible for a child or young person, with this being known as the “child addition”.
The Gov.uk explains some instances where a person may or may not get the “child addition”, as well as instructing users to contact the Pension Service helpline if they’re not sure as to whether they are eligible for this amount.
To qualify for Pension Credit, one must live in England, Scotland, or Wales.
The eligibility rules for pension credit changed on May 15, 2019.
Since this date, those who are in a couple are only eligible to start getting Pension Credit if either:
- Both members of the couple have reached state pension age
- One partner is getting Housing Benefit for people over state pension age
A partner counts as a husband, wife, or civil partner (if one lives with them), or someone else who a person lives with as though they were married.
Should the couple not have already been getting Pension Credit on May 14, 2019, it is possible to backdate a claim.
It is possible for those eligible to ask for the claim to be backdated to May 14 or before.
However, this must be done before the deadline of August 13, 2019 – which is in five days.
Age UK has said that the changes could mean that some people will miss out on £70,000.
According to the charity, this could be something which couples who have an age gap of 10 years or more may face.
A third of couples have an age gap of five years or more, Age UK said, meaning they could miss out on £35,000 or more.
Those claiming Pension Credit may also be able to receive Council Tax reductions and cold weather payments, in addition to a free TV licence after reaching the age of 75.
In June this year, the Department for Work and Pensions said that there is a 60 per cent take up of Pension Credit, with more than a million people entitled to the benefit not yet claiming it.
The DWP also said that the quickest way to apply for Pension Credit is by telephone.