Pension Credit is a means-tested benefit for people who have reached the minimum qualifying age, which is going up to 66.
Pension Credit is made up of two different parts: Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.
Guarantee Credit increases your weekly income if it’s below a certain amount. Extra amounts can be paid if you have special circumstances, for example if you’re a carer or have a severe disability.
Savings Credit is a weekly payment for people who saved some money towards their retirement. If you’re 65 or over and have savings or income above the basic State Pension level, you may be eligible.
How much you’ll get – weekly rates
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The government is changing the rules for couples where one person is over State Pension age and one person is under it. When this change is introduced, couples with one partner under pension age will no longer be able to start claiming Pension Credit.
It hasn’t yet been decided when this change will take effect. This change won’t affect couples who already receive Pension Credit. They will continue to receive Pension Credit, unless there’s a change in their circumstances that ends their entitlement to Pension Credit. If this happens, they would then need to claim Universal Credit.
You can claim Pension Credit if you’re working, although your earnings will affect how much benefit you receive. However, Pension Credit disregards some of the earnings – £5 a week for single people, £10 a week for couples and £20 a week for certain other people such as those who are severely disabled.
Rate Guarantee Credit Savings Credit
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Single people - Whatever amount is needed to increase your weekly income to £148.35
Couples - Whataver amount is needed to increase your weekly income to £226.50
Single people - up to £16.80
Couples - up to £20.70
For more information or to find out the exact date when you can claim State Pension and Pension Credit, speak to a welfare rights adviser or visit gov.uk/calculate-state-pension
Changes to Pension Credit
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People currently over the qualifying age for Pension Credit can also get Housing Benefit and tax credits. However, Housing Benefit and tax credits will be replaced once Universal Credit has been introduced in all areas.
From this point, Pension Credit will be changed to include a new element called Housing Credit. This will be for people of pension age who are eligible for support with rent.
Once Child Tax Credit is no longer available, there will also be an additional amount for dependent children in the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit.
Call the Pension Service on 0800 99 1234, or visit gov.uk/pension-credit
In Northern Ireland, call the Pension Centre on 0808 100 6165, or visit nidirect.gov.uk
You may have a private pension that you can access earlier than planned because of your illness. This could provide you with a lump sum payment and/or a monthly income. It’s best to discuss this with a welfare rights adviser, because personal pensions canaffect your entitlement to certain benefits.
Our financial guides can give you information and support related to financial products and services. They can help you plan and manage your money for the future. To speak to a welfare rights adviser or a financial guide, call 0808 808 00 00.
Tracing a pension
The Pension Tracing Service can help you trace an old pension scheme if the details are unclear or lost. This service is free.
We have more information about pensions.