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Pension Credit

Pension Credit is an income-related benefit to give you some extra money in retirement. If you’re on a low income or struggling to make ends meet, claiming Pension Credit could help. It comes in two parts and you may be eligible for one or both parts.

What is Pension Credit?

What is Pension Credit? video

How much could I get?

Pension Credit comes in two parts:

Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income to a guaranteed minimum level:

  • £159.35 if you’re single
  • or £243.25 if you’re a couple.

Savings Credit is extra money if you’ve got some savings or your income is higher than the basic State Pension. It’s only available to people who reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016. You could get up to:

  • £13.20 extra per week if you’re single
  • or £14.90 if you’re a couple.

New rates announced to take effect on 1 April 2018. The standard rate of Guarantee Credit will increase to £163 a week if you're single and £248.80 a week for couples. Savings Credit will increase to £13.40 a week if you're single and £14.99 a week for couples. More budget announcements.

How could Pension Credit help me?

If you’re eligible, Pension Credit will not only give you a bit of extra cash, it could also help you get other benefits too:

  1. It’s unlikely you’ll have to pay Council Tax (unless other people live with you).
  2. You’ll get free NHS dental treatment, and you can claim help towards the cost of glasses and travel to hospital.
  3. You’ll get a Cold Weather Payment of £25 when the temperature is 0°C or below for 7 days in a row.
  4. If you rent your home, you may get your rent paid in full by Housing Benefit.
  5. If you own your home, you may be eligible for help with mortgage interest, ground rent and service charges.
  6. If you’re a carer, you may get an extra amount known as Carer Premium, or Carer Addition if it’s paid with Pension Credit. This is worth up to £34.95 a week.

You have nothing to lose by applying, but potentially a lot to gain, and even if you've previously been turned down, it's always worth making a new claim every year. Benefits rates change every year, as can your finances.

Am I eligible to claim Pension Credit?

Even if you own your home, you may still be eligible for Pension Credit. Nearly 9 out of 10 claims are successful and 2.5 million households across the UK receive Pension Credit.

Can I get Guarantee Credit?

The eligible age for Guarantee Credit is gradually rising. See our chart below to find out when you might become eligible.

Date of birth When you can claim Guarantee Credit

5 July 1953 and earlier

You’ve already reached the eligible age to claim Guarantee Credit
6 July 1953 to 5 August 1953 6 July 2017
6 August 1953 to 5 September 1953 6 November 2017
6 September 1953 to 5 October 1953 6 March 2018
6 October 1953 and later Visit GOV.UK to calculate when you will reach the qualifying age by using their State Pension calculator.

If you’re an eligible age, you can claim Guarantee Credit if your weekly income is less than £159.35 if you’re single, or £243.25 if you’re a couple.

If you’re an eligible age, but your weekly income is higher than these thresholds, you may still claim Guarantee Credit if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • you have a severe disability
  • you are a carer
  • you have to pay housing costs like a mortgage.

Am I entitled to Savings Credit?

Only people who’ve reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016 may be eligible to claim the Savings Credit part of Pension Credit.

  • If you’re a couple and one of you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016, you may be able to claim.
  • There isn’t a savings limit for Pension Credit, but if you have over £10,000 this will affect how much you receive.

How do I claim Pension Credit?

Step 1

Make sure you’ve reached the qualifying age by checking the table of dates above, by using our benefits calculator or the calculator.

Benefits calculator

Step 2

It only takes one phone call and you won’t have to fill in a form. Call the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234 (textphone: 0800 169 0133). They will fill in the application for you over the phone. It’ll be quicker if you have the following details to hand:

  • National Insurance number
  • Bank account details
  • Information about your income, savings and investments
  • Information about your pension (if you have one)
  • Details of any housing costs (such as mortgage, interest payments, service charges)
  • Partner’s details (if you have a partner)

Step 3

If you need help, speak to your local Age UK for help with claiming Pension Credit.

Find your local Age UK to get help


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What should I do next?

Boost your income

Find out which benefits you're eligible to claim.

Find your local Age UK to speak to someone face-to-face


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For Advice & Information call the Age NI Advice Service on 0808 808 7575


Last updated: Jul 22 2018

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