The amount of money that state pension claimants can get varies, depending on various things. But for some people, the government will give them an additional sum of money. This works out as £14.99 per week, and is a type of pension credit. But, in order to receive this additional money, those eligible have to apply for it.
What is pension credit?
Pension credit is an income-related benefit, and is not something you pay tax on.
It is made up of two different parts, known as guarantee credit and savings credit.
The former serves as a top up of one’s weekly income, if that doesn’t reach £163 for a single person, or £248.80 for a couple.
Meanwhile, savings credit is an additional payment, which can be claimed by those who saved some of their own money towards their retirement.
The latter type of pension credit can see a single person claim for up to £13.40 extra per week.
Meanwhile, eligible couples could get up to £14.99 per week via savings credit.
Who is eligible for pension credit?
As well as your income being less than £163 per week, in order to qualify for guarantee credit, you must fulfil two conditions.
You must live in England, Scotland or Wales, and you or your partner must have reached pension credit qualifying age.
For savings credit, you or your partner must be at least 65.
And, if you reached state pension age on or after April 6 2016, you may not be eligible for savings credit.
However, if both of the following points apply, you could be entitled to put in a claim.
This is only if you are in a couple and one of you reached state pension age before the aforementioned date.
This is in addition to if you were getting savings credit up until April 6 2016, and haven’t stopped being eligible for any reason.
How to claim pension credit
There are a number of ways to apply for pension credit, but the government have said that the quickest route is via telephone.
If you don’t want to call the pension credit claim line, you can submit a paper application by contacting a voluntary organisation such as AgeUK or Citizen’s Advice – or asking a friend or family member to call the helpline in order to request this.
There are three things you will need in order to enter your request for pension credit.
These are your national insurance number, your bank account details, and information about your income, savings, and investments.
For those who are prepared, it is possible to begin your application four months before you reach the pension credit qualifying age.
And, you can also start your claim after you reach this age – however it can only be backdated by three months.