The state pension age has been rising recently, and further changes are ahead. For some, reaching this age will also mean they can apply to get Pension Credit – an income-related benefit that’s made up of two parts: Savings Credit and Guarantee Credit.
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The former is an extra payment for people who have saved some money towards their retirement, such as a pension.
However, it’s important to be aware that a person may not be eligible for Savings Credit if they reached state pension age on or after April 6, 2016.
Meanwhile, Guarantee Credit tops up the weekly income if it’s below £173.75 (for single people) or £265.20 (for couples).
It may be that a person is still eligible even if they have savings, a pension, or own their property.
Tax does not need to be paid on Pension Credit.
Pension Credit calculator
It’s possible to use the Pension Credit calculator online in order to work out how much a person could get.
In order to use this, they’d need details of earnings, benefits and pensions, as well as savings and investments.
People who get Guarantee Credit will also qualify for other benefits.
These include Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Cold Weather Payments and help with the costs of NHS services.
“Check a benefits calculator to see if you’re eligible for anything else,” Gov.uk states.
It may also be that people who are responsible for a child or young person may get more Pension Credit.
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This is known as the “child addition”.
The child or young person must normally live with the recipient and be under the age of 20.
Gov.uk states: “If they’re 16 or over and under 20, they must be in (or accepted for):
- Approved training, such as Foundation Apprenticeships
- A course of non-advanced education (for example, they’re studying for GCSEs or A levels).
Furthermore, if they’re in education, it must be for more than 12 hours a week on average.
This child addition cannot be paid if an individual gets Tax Credits.
This week, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced a change with regards to the application process for Pension Credit.
From May 6, 2020, eligible pensioners can apply for Pension Credit online, a move which supports existing methods of applying for Pension Credit by telephone or post.
It’s possible to make an online application for Pension Credit by visiting the “How to claim” section on the Gov.uk website.
While it’s still possible to claim Pension Credit by phone or post, the DWP has pointed out that it is taking longer than usual to do so because of coronavirus (COVID-19), while those who are self-isolating or shielding will not be able to leave their homes.
However, the online service can only be used if a person has already claimed their state pension, and there are no children or young people included in the claim.
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