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30% of Eligible Pensioners Not Claiming Pension Credit

Posted on May 25th, 2023

Article from Plymouth Job Centre Plus, DWP

People of State Pension age may be entitled to Pension Credit even though they may have modest savings, or a retirement income or own their own home. An award of Pension Credit can provide access to a range of other benefits such as help with housing costs, council tax, heating bills and for those aged 75 or over, a free TV licence. If you work with people over State Pension age, or with those supporting them, or know anyone who might be eligible, then please encourage them to find out more.


About Pension Credit

Pension Credit tops up weekly income to a guaranteed minimum level of £201.05 a week for single pensioners or £306.85 for couples. It is a tax-free payment for those who:

Someone may still get Pension Credit if they:

  • have not paid National Insurance contributions
  • have some savings or a small pension
  • live with their grown-up family
  • own their own home

Use the Pension Credit calculator to find out how much Pension Credit someone could get – without giving any personal details.


A quick guide to entitlement

There are 4 main questions when considering whether a pensioner may get Pension Credit:

1.How old are they?

2.If they have a partner, how old is their partner?

3.What is their weekly income? Is it less that £201.05 if they are single or £306.85 if they are a couple?

4.Do they have any savings? Have they got less than £10,000?

  • People who have more income or savings than this may still qualify for Pension Credit. But these questions are a good basic indication of who is likely to qualify.
  • If they are over 65 and reached their State Pension age before 6 April 2016, they could still qualify for Pension Credit if their weekly income is less than:
  • £240.90 if they are single
  • £351.45 if they are a couple
  • Pension Credit toolkit: advice and guidance for stakeholders – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Pension Credit True or False

  • They own their own home, so they’ll not get anything?
  • False – Homeowners can get Pension Credit too. In fact, almost half of the people who get Pension Credit own their own home.
  • They’re not eligible for Pension Credit – it’s for ‘old’ people
  • False – People can claim as soon as they reach the qualifying age, which is now State Pension age.
  • They cannot get a State Pension, so they’ll not be eligible
  • False – They may be entitled to Pension Credit – even if they’re not entitled to a State Pension.
  • They’ve been turned down for Pension Credit before, so it’s not worth applying again
  • False – Personal circumstances could have changed and their income or capital may have changed as a result. The first £10,000 of savings will be ignored when working out if someone can get Pension Credit.
  • It’s too complicated and claiming’s not worth the effort
  • False – they can claim with one simple free phone call Even if someone only gets a small amount of Pension Credit, it can open the door to receiving other benefits and services like Cold Weather Payments and free dental treatment.
  • However, if they wish, people can fill out a paper claim form, which can now be downloaded from the GOV.UK website or an online claim can be made.
  • The Pension Service will also help them to claim other benefits (like Housing Benefit, which can help with paying rent) if they’re entitled to those as well.
  • However, they’ll need to contact their local council direct if they wish to apply for a reduction in their Council Tax


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