Pension credit

We are currently updating our financial information following the March 2015 budget announcement. For the most up-to-date information, please contact us on 0808 808 00 00.

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 at least £151.20 if you’re single or £230.85 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 changes planned to Pension Credit:

  • Changes to the State Pension will also affect Pension Credit. If you reach State Pension age after 6 April 2016, you may not be able to get the Savings Credit part of Pension Credit.
  • At some point Pension Credit will be changed to include help with housing costs and those bringing up a child, for those who need it.

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 £151.20
  • Couples - whatever amount is needed to increase your weekly income to £230.85

Savings credit

  • Single people - up to £14.82
  • Couples - up to £17.43

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.