Almost half of all pensioners are entitled to Pension Credit, yet around a third of those eligible are not claiming it. There are two parts to Pension Credit – you may be eligible to receive one or both of them.
Important: You can't claim Savings Credit if you reach State Pension age after 6 April 2016.
- Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income to a guaranteed minimum level set by the Government.
- Savings Credit is extra money you receive if you’ve got some savings or your income is higher than the basic State Pension. You can get up to £13.20 extra per week if you're single or £14.90 if you're a couple. Anyone who reaches State Pension age after 6 April 2016 cannot claim Savings Credit. Those who are currently in receipt of Savings Credit, and whose personal circumstances remain unchanged, will continue to receive it.
It's worth claiming Pension Credit even if you’re only entitled to a small amount as it can help you qualify for other benefits such as Housing Benefit.
Additional benefits of claiming
Pension Credit doesn’t just top up your income. It’s also your passport to lots of other savings.
- You’ll get free NHS dental treatment, and you can claim help towards the cost of glasses and travel to hospital.
- You’ll get a Cold Weather Payment of £25 when the temperature is 0°C or below for 7 days in a row.
- If you rent your home, you may get your rent paid in full by Housing Benefit.
- If you own your home, you may be eligible for help with mortgage interest, ground rent and service charges.
- If you’re a carer, you may get an extra amount known as Carer Premium. This is worth up to £34.20 a week.
You have nothing to lose by applying, but potentially a lot to gain.
Can I claim it?
- The minimum age to qualify for Guarantee Credit is gradually rising. In April 2017, it is 64 years. You can check when you qualify by calling the Age NI Advice and Advocacy Service or the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.
- If you live with a partner, only one of you can claim Pension Credit and you will be assessed as a couple.
- Generally, you could receive Guarantee Credit if your weekly income is less than £159.35 if you’re single or £243.25 if you’re a couple.
- There is no savings limit for Guarantee Credit, but if you have over £10,000 it will affect the amount you receive.
- The minimum age to qualify for Savings Credit is 65. You may get some Savings Credit if you have a higher weekly income.
- All these amounts could be much higher if you have a severe disability, are a carer or a homeowner with a mortgage or service charges.
How to claim Pension Credit
Call the Northern Ireland Pension Centre application line on 0808 100 6165 (textphone: 0808 100 1165) or enquiry line 0845 601 8821 (textphone: 0845 601 8841).
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)
Age NI also provide help with claiming Pension Credit - call our advice line for free on 0808 808 7575.