State pension: Credit rates are rising – how much are you entitled to?

Pensions are a crutch for most in later life. While many who work have a work place pension, many also have a state pension.

The number of national insurance payments a person has made over the course of their life dictates how much state pension they will get.

The full new State Pension is £168.60 per week.

But if the amount you receive is low, can you do something to boost it?

What is pension credit?

Pension credit is a benefit that is related to how much cash you are getting in your state pension payments. It was introduced by Gordon Brown to help keep vulnerable pensioners out of poverty.

To qualify for pension credit either you or your partner needs to have reached state pension age.

If Britons want to apply for pension credit they should do so up to four months before they start receiving their pension.

Pension credit it means tested, and is made up of two parts, guarantee credit and savings credit. Both of these increase with the CPI inflation rate.

What is guarantee credit? Guarantee credit tops up the state pension weekly income to a minimum amount.

This minimum amount is decided upon by the government.

It has been raised to £167.26 a week for a single person and £248.80 to £255.25 for couples recently.

What is saving credit? is a top up from the government that you get for saving for your pension.

Saving credit is going up from £13.40 to £13.72 for a single person. For a couple it will go up to £15.35 a week from £14.99.

However, state pension changes to pension credit and universal credit could mean some couples will lose out on £7,000. 

The shock news has seen a number of couples of claimed pension credit now being forced to collect universal credit instead.

Before the 2018 cuts, couples would be able to claim up to £13,273 a year with pension credit.

However, the new rules mean they will instead have to claim universal credit, and get only £5,986 a year.

The change was implemented on 15 May 2019.