What is Pension Credit?

Pension Credit is money paid to you if you have reached State Pension age and you have a low income. It is separate to your State Pension. You can claim it even if you are still working. Pension Credit is not taxed.

Pension Credit is made up of 2 different parts:

  • Guarantee Credit is a payment to top up your weekly income if it is assessed as being low.
  • Savings Credit is only for people who reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016. Savings Credit is a weekly payment for people who saved some money towards their retirement other than State Pension. This might be savings or a pension scheme.
Related pages

Who can get Pension Credit?

When you apply for Pension Credit, your income and any savings and investments you have will be assessed. Income includes money from your State Pension, other pensions and earnings through employment.

Some benefits are not counted as income, including:

If you have a partner, you must include them on your application. Your partner means someone you:

  • are married to or have a civil partnership with
  • live with as a couple but you are not married to or in a civil partnership with.

You and your partner both need to have reached State Pension age. Or 1 of you needs to have reached State Pension age and be claiming Housing Benefit for you both.

You can find out what counts as income and whether you are eligible for Pension Credit at gov.uk.

How much is Pension Credit?

You can find out the current level of Pension Credit at gov.uk. There is also a Pension Credit calculator you can use.

You may be able to get more Pension Credit if you are:

  • a carer
  • disabled
  • responsible for a child or young person
  • responsible for some housing costs.

Housing costs may include ground rent, some service charges, charges for tents and site rents. You may also be eligible for council tax reduction, Housing Benefit or support with mortgage interest.

These extra payments can be affected if you go into hospital or a care home. But this depends on how long you stay. It is important to tell the Pension Service about any changes in your situation.

If any of your care home fees are paid by your local adult social care department, you may have to pay something towards them. Pension Credit usually counts as income when they work out how much you must pay towards your care home fees.

The amount depends on where you live and whether you have a partner or not.

We have more information about getting help with housing costs.

Other benefits you can get with Pension Credit

If you are eligible for Pension Credit, you can usually get other benefits and financial support. You can usually get them even if you do not claim Pension Credit itself. Other support includes:

  • a free TV licence if someone in the house is aged 75 or over
  • help with NHS dental care, glasses and towards travel costs for hospital appointments.

The level of help you get depends on what type of Pension Credit you are getting.

How to apply for Pension Credit

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales, you can:

  • call the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234
  • use textphone 0800 169 0133
  • claim online at gov.uk or get a claim form from your local Citizens Advice.

If you live in Northern Ireland you can:

For more information, or to find out when you can get State Pension and Pension Credit, visit gov.uk. Or call 0808 808 0000 to speak to a Macmillan welfare rights adviser.

About our information

  • This information has been written, revised and edited by Macmillan Cancer Support’s Cancer Information Development team. It has been reviewed by expert medical and health professionals and people living with cancer. It has been approved by Levon Gray, Service Knowledge Specialist – Welfare Rights Team.

    Our cancer information has been awarded the PIF TICK. Created by the Patient Information Forum, this quality mark shows we meet PIF’s 10 criteria for trustworthy health information.

The language we use

We want everyone affected by cancer to feel our information is written for them.

We want our information to be as clear as possible. To do this, we try to:

  • use plain English
  • explain medical words
  • use short sentences
  • use illustrations to explain text
  • structure the information clearly
  • make sure important points are clear.

We use gender-inclusive language and talk to our readers as ‘you’ so that everyone feels included. Where clinically necessary we use the terms ‘men’ and ‘women’ or ‘male’ and ‘female’. For example, we do so when talking about parts of the body or mentioning statistics or research about who is affected.

You can read more about how we produce our information here.

Date reviewed

Reviewed: 01 September 2023
Next review: 01 September 2026
Trusted Information Creator - Patient Information Forum
Trusted Information Creator - Patient Information Forum

Our cancer information meets the PIF TICK quality mark.

This means it is easy to use, up-to-date and based on the latest evidence. Learn more about how we produce our information.