Pension Credit

If you’re aged 60 or over you may be entitled to pension credit. It’s made up of two elements – the ‘Guarantee Credit‘ element and the ‘Savings Credit‘ element (which may be payable from age 65).

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for ‘Guarantee Credit’ you must have reached the pension credit age, this is gradually increasing to 66 by the year 2020.
To find out when you will reach the pension credit age, use this State Pension Calculator.
The age in which you qualify for ‘Savings Credit’ is 65, however by 2019 it is expected to be inline with the State Pension age.

What counts as income?

Income that’s taken into account includes:

  • State Pension
  • Occupational and private pensions
  • Social security benefits
  • £1 a week for every £500 (or part of £500) of ‘capital’ you have over £10,000
  • Earning after from employment or self-employment

Income that ISN’T taken into account includes:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Christmas Bonus
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Benefit

How much do you get?

Guarantee Credit Element:
Guarantee Credit tops up your income to:

  • £142.40 if you are single.
  • £217.90 if you have a partner.

Savings Credit Element:
The savings credit is a maximum:

  • £18.54 a week if you’re single.
  • £23.73 a week if you have a partner.

How is it paid?

Pension Credit is paid into your bank, building society, Post Office or national savings account that accepts Direct Payment.
If you’re registered blind or need someone who cares for you to collect the money, you can be sent a cheque to cash at the Post Office.

Effect on other benefits

If you’re getting pension credit you may also qualify for:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Benefit
  • Cold Weather Payment
  • Funeral Payments
  • Community Care Grant
  • Budgeting Loans
  • Crisis Loans
  • Winter Fuel Payments
  • Sure Start Maternity Grant
  • Free School Meals

If you’re getting some of these benefits, the amount may be reduced when you get pension credit. But you should still be better off claiming pension credit.

How to apply

Over the Telephone
You can call the pension service 0800 99 1234 or textphone 0800 169 0133 (lines are open 8.00 am to 8.00 pm Monday to Friday and 9.00 am to 1.00 pm on Saturdays).
An advisor will help you apply for pension credit and let you know what happens next.

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit

The pension service can also help you apply for housing benefit and council tax benefit at the same time as your application for pension credit.

What to do if your circumstances change

Tell your pension centre if your circumstances change, so you continue to get the right amount of pension credit.

How to appeal

If you’re refused pension credit, or think it’s been calculated wrongly, ask the office that dealt with your claim to reconsider the decision. If you’re still unhappy with the outcome you can appeal to an independent unified appeal tribunal.
You can find out more about the appeals process in the department for work and pensions’ (DWP) booklet ‘If you think our decision is wrong‘.