Pension Credit: Expert discusses those not claiming benefit
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Pension credit is separate from the state pension, which is automatically paid to Britons once they’ve reached the state pension age. The extra money helps cover living costs, and has become increasingly important in recent months as energy bills and inflation continue to soar. Are you entitled to pension credit? Here’s everything you need to know about the state benefit.
What is pension credit?
Pension credit was introduced to help top up the income of people, who are over the state pension age.
It’s a means tested benefit that is split up into two parts, of which some people can apply for both.
The first part is known as ‘guarantee credit’, which is the main segment of pension credit, giving you a top-up of your weekly income to a minimum guaranteed level.
In 2022/23 the minimum standard guarantee level is £182.60 if you’re single, and £278.70 if you’re in a couple.
Some people can also apply for ‘savings credit’ if they reached state pension age before April 2016.
You also need to have made provisions for your retirement through savings, work or a private pension.
If you’re single, savings credit will add an extra £14.48 per week, and £16.20 if you’re in a couple.
But to be eligible for the payment you’ve got to earn above a threshold amount of £158.47 if you’re single, and £251.70 if you’re in a couple.
Am I eligible for pension credit?
To qualify for pension credit you must:
- Live in the UK – England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland
- Have reached state pension age
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If you’re in a couple you will need to include this as part of your application. To claim you will either both need to be of state pension age, or one of you will need to be receiving housing benefit.
The Government classes a partner as your husband, wife or civil partner – if you live with them – or someone you live with as a couple, without being married or in a civil partnership.
Earlier this week it was revealed around 770,000 Britons are estimated to have not made applications for pension credit despite being eligible.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced the statistics in response to a question raised by Conservative MP, Sir John Hayes.
He asked the DWP to confirm “the number [of] pensioners in the UK who qualify for pension credit but do not claim their entitlement”.
Guy Opperman – Conservative MP for Hexham – responded to the query and highlighted that on June 15 there will be a pension credit ‘awareness day’
The occasion will see “broadcasters, newspapers and other partners encouraged to reach out to pensioners to promote Pension Credit through their channels”.
He said: “We will also extend the campaign to include advertising in regional and national newspapers. This event was a success in 2021.
“We know that one of the best ways to reach eligible customers is through trusted stakeholders working in the community.
“We will be producing and distributing leaflets and posters which can be used across local communities, and we will also be updating our digital toolkit with information and resources that any stakeholder can use to help promote Pension Credit.”
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