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Pension Credit Guide - Rates April 2016 - 2017

Pension Credit (April 2016/2017) is an income-related benefit made up of 2 parts - Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit. Guarantee Credit is for those who have reached the minimum qualifying age. Savings Credit is for those aged 65 or over.

Find out if you are entitled to
Pension Credit and how and when to apply for this benefit.

Pension Credit is not Taxable.

Introduction:

Pension Credit is an income-related benefit made up of 2 parts - Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.

Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income if it’s below £155.60 (for single people) or £237.55 (for couples).

Savings Credit is an extra payment for people who saved some money towards their retirement, eg a pension.

You may not be eligible for Savings Credit if you reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016.



What you'll get

Your circumstances Guarantee Credit per week Savings Credit per week
Single people Top up to £155.60 Up to £13.07
Couples Top up to £237.55 Up to £14.75

You might get more if you’re a carer, severely disabled or have certain housing costs.

Use the Pension Credit calculator to work out how much you might get.

You might be eligible for other benefits when you get Pension Credit - check a benefits calculator.

How you’re paid

All benefits, pensions and allowances are paid into an account, eg a bank account.

If your circumstances change

Phone the helpline if your circumstances change as this can affect how much you get. For example, if your income or capital goes up or down.

Pension Service helpline
Telephone: 0345 606 0265
Textphone: 0800 169 0133
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

Get face-to-face advice about Pension Credit from your local Service Information Point. You need to book for this.

Changes to Assessed Income Periods ( AIPs )

An AIP is a period when you don’t have to report changes to your pensions, savings or investments.

Your Pension Credit award letter tells you if you have one.

Read about the changes to AIPs from April 2016.

Eligibility

Guarantee Credit

To qualify for Guarantee Credit:

The qualifying age for Pension Credit is gradually going up to 66 in line with the increase in the State Pension age for women to 65 and the further increase to 66 for men and women.

Savings Credit

To qualify for the extra Savings Credit you or your partner must be 65 or over.

You’re treated as a couple if you live with your husband, wife or partner. You don’t have to be married or in a civil partnership.

You can still apply for Savings Credit on or after 6 April 2016 if you reach State Pension age before that date.

If you reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016

Most people who reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016 won’t be eligible for Savings Credit. But you may continue to get Savings Credit if both of the following apply:

  • you’re in a couple and one of you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016
  • you were getting Savings Credit up to 6 April 2016

If you stop being eligible for Savings Credit for any reason from 6 April 2016, you won’t be able to get it again.



Working out your income

When you apply for Pension Credit your income is worked out. This includes:

  • State Pension
  • other pensions
  • most social security benefits, eg Carer’s Allowance
  • savings, investments over £10,000 - for these £1 is counted for every £500 or part £500
  • earnings

If you’re entitled to a private or workplace pension, the amount you’d expect to get is calculated as income from the date you were able to get it, if you had claimed it.

You won’t get the benefit of deferring your State Pension if you or your partner are on Pension Credit, eg you won’t build up extra State Pension or a lump sum for deferring your State Pension. When working out if you can get Pension Credit, the income you’d get from your State Pension is included whether you’re claiming it or not.

The calculation doesn’t include:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Christmas Bonus 
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Reduction

If you’re registered for Self Assessment, you must tell the Pension Service how much Income Tax you expect to pay for the current tax year - this affects how much Pension Credit you’ll get.

Pension Credit if you move abroad

You can’t get Pension Credit if you move abroad permanently.

How to claim

The quickest way to apply for Pension Credit is by phone.

A friend or family member can call for you - you must be with them when they call.

Pension Credit claim line
Telephone: 0800 99 1234
Textphone: 0800 169 0133
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

You can use a paper application if you’re unable to make a claim by phone. Contact a voluntary organisation (eg Citizens Advice or AgeUK) in your area - or get a friend or family member to call the helpline to ask for a paper application.

What you need to claimYou will need:

  • your National Insurance number
  • information about your income, savings and investments
  • your bank account details

The earliest you can start your application is 4 months before you reach Pension Credit qualifying age.

You can claim any time after you reach Pension Credit qualifying age but your claim can only be backdated for 3 months.

Appeal a decision

You can appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal if you disagree with a decision. You must usually ask for ‘mandatory reconsideration’ before you appeal.


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