State pension UK: Use this calculator to see if you’re eligible for Pension Credit

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The state pension can be received once a person reaches state pension age – which is currently rising. A person will receive the full new state pension of £175.20 per week if they have at least 35 years of National Insurance contributions.

If a retiree’s income level is particularly low overall, they may be able to receive Pension Credit which is an income-related state benefit.

Pension Credit is made up of two parts: Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.

Guarantee Credit tops up a weekly income if it’s below £173.75 for single people or £265.20 for couples.

Savings Credit is an additional payment for people who have saved some money for retirement, an obvious example being a private pension.

If Savings Credit is received, it will pay up to £13.97 per week for single claimants or up to £15.62 for couples.

The rules around how and whether Pension Credit is paid out can be slightly convoluted but fortunately, the government provides a Pension Credit calculator on its website.

This tool can help users find out if they’re eligible for Pension Credit before applying and how much they could receive from it.

The user will need details of their earnings, benefits, pensions, savings and investments before getting started.

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To start with, the calculator will ask for the user’s date of birth, gender and where they live in the UK.

It will then go on to ask more specific questions which includes:

  • whether the user is registered blind
  • whether they live alone
  • what kind of accommodation do they live in, and
  • whether the user (or their partner if they have one) owns any other property or land

The next screen may ask the user for information about their partner and following this, the user will need to provide details on any other state benefits they may be receiving.

The final few pages will ask for details on the user’s income levels from other pension arrangements and employment earnings.

Before the user can find out if they qualify for Pension Credit, they’ll be presented with all of their previous answers and will have the chance to change anything that may be incorrect.

The final screen will detail if the user qualifies for Pension Credit and how much the weekly payment could be.

Pension Credit can begin to be claimed up to four months before the claimant reaches their state pension age.

It can also be claimed any time after reaching state pension age but the claim can only be backdated by up to three months.

This means that a person can get an initial payment of up to three months’ worth of pension credit.

If the claimant’s personal circumstances changes, which can include them starting or stopping work or going into hospital, the changes must be reported to the state as it could affect their claim.

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