Pension credit

Pension Credit is for people who have reached State Pension age. You can claim Pension Credit if you’re working. However, it is means-tested and the amount you earn will affect how much you get.

Pension Credit is made up of two parts:

  • Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income to reach £148.35 if you’re single or £226.50 if you’re in a couple.
  • Savings Credit can increase your weekly income if your income is above the basic State Pension level. You may receive up to £16.80 for single people and £20.70 for couples.

There are a number of planned changes to Pension Credit:

  • If you are in a couple, you will only be able to claim Pension Credit if you have both reached state pension age.
  • Housing Credit will replace Housing Benefit.
  • One Child Tax Credit is no longer available.

Speak to a welfare rights adviser to find out more or call the Pension Service to apply on 0800 99 1234, textphone 0800 169 0133, or visit gov.uk/pension-credit

Pension Credit (means-tested)

Pension Credit is a means-tested benefit for people who have reached the minimum qualifying age for State Pension.

Pension Credit is made up of two different parts: Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.

Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income. Extra amounts can be paid if you have special circumstances, for example, if you’re a carer or have a severe disability.

If you’re 65 or over and have savings or income above the basic State Pension level, you may also be eligible for Savings Credit. This can increase your weekly income.


How much you’ll get – weekly rates

Guarantee credit

  • Single people - whatever amount is needed to increase your weekly income to £148.35
  • Couples - whatever amount is needed to increase your weekly income to £226.50

Savings credit

  • Single people - up to £16.80
  • Couples - up to £20.70

The government is changing the rules for couples where one person is over the Pension Credit qualifying 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.

However, this change won’t affect couples who already receive Pension Credit. They’ll be able to continue to receive Pension Credit, unless there’s a change in their circumstances that ends their entitlement to Pension Credit. If this happens, they’d then need to claim Universal Credit.

It hasn’t yet been decided when these changes will take effect.

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 groups like those who are severely disabled.

For further details and to find out the exact date when you can claim your State Pension and Pension Credit, speak to a welfare rights adviser or visit gov.uk/calculate-state-pension


Changes to Pension Credit

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 when Universal Credit is 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.

How can I apply?

Call the Pension Service on 0800 99 1234, textphone 0800 169 0133, or visit gov.uk/pension-credit


Private pensions

Do you 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 can affect your entitlement to certain benefits.

You can speak to one of our financial guides, who are able to give you information and support related to financial products and services. They can support you to plan and manage your money into the future.

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.


Back to Benefits for people of pension age

State retirement pension

If you have reached state pension age, you are entitled to regular pension payments from the government.