What is Pension Credit?

Pension Credit is a benefit for people who have reached State Pension age and have a low income. To get Pension Credit, you or your partner if you have one, must have reached State Pension age. Your partner means your husband, wife or civil partner (if you live with them), or someone else you live with as if you were married.

  • Guarantee Credit
  • Savings Credit.

Guarantee Credit

Guarantee Credit increases your weekly income if it is below a certain amount. You may get extra payments if you are a carer, have a severe disability, are responsible for a child or young person, or have certain housing costs.

The money you earn (your income) will be checked to see whether it is below a certain amount. Some of the money you earn will be ignored. They will usually ignore:

  • £5 a week for single people
  • £10 a week for couples
  • £20 a week for certain other people, such as those who are severely disabled.

This means you can still earn some money and be considered to have a low income.

Savings Credit

Savings Credit is a weekly payment for people who saved some money towards their retirement (for example in a personal pension).

If you reached State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016, you may not be able to get the Savings Credit part of Pension Credit.

For more information, or to find out the exact date when you can get State Pension and Pension Credit, speak to a welfare rights adviser or visit gov.uk

Who can claim?

To get Pension Credit, you or your partner if you have one, must have reached State Pension age. Your partner means your husband, wife or civil partner (if you live with them), or someone else you live with as if you were married.

Visit gov.uk to check if you can claim Pension Credit.

How much you could get

  • For single people - you can get a weekly guarantee credit of whatever amount is needed to increase your weekly income to £173.75. You will also get a weekly savings credit of up to £13.97.
  • For couples - you can get a weekly guarantee credit of whatever amount is needed to increase your weekly income to £265.20. You will also get a weekly savings credit of up to £15.62.

You could get more if you are a carer, if you are severely disabled, are responsible for a child or young person or have certain housing costs. These extra payments may be affected if you go into hospital or care home, depending on how long you stay. It is important to let the Pension Service know about the change in your situation.

If your care home fees are paid in part or full by public funds, you may have to contribute. Pension Credit counts as your income when calculating how much you must contribute towards care home fees. However, a small part of your income should be disregarded if you are 65 or over and get Savings Credit. The amount depends on where you live and whether you are single or part of a couple.

Age UK has more information about claiming Pension Credit in hospital or a care home.

You do not pay tax on Pension Credit.

People who get Pension Credit can also apply for a loan to help with mortgage interest payments.

How to apply

You can call the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234, or use textphone 0800 169 0133. Or you can get a claim form from your local Citizens Advice.

If you live in Northern Ireland, call 0808 100 6165 or use textphone 0808 100 2198. You can also download a claim form from nidirect.gov.uk

How we can help

Macmillan Grants

If you have cancer, you may be able to get a Macmillan Grant to help with the extra costs of cancer. Find out who can apply and how to access our grants.

0808 808 00 00
7 days a week, 8am - 8pm
Email us
Get in touch via this form
Chat online
7 days a week, 8am - 8pm
Online Community
An anonymous network of people affected by cancer which is free to join. Share experiences, ask questions and talk to people who understand.
Help in your area
What's going on near you? Find out about support groups, where to get information and how to get involved with Macmillan where you live.