Pension Credit: Expert discusses those not claiming benefit
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Many pensioners will be reliant upon the state pension as a source of income in retirement. However, this is not the only sum they might be entitled to.
Pensioners who are on a low income could be entitled to a key top-up, which is likely to help them with their living costs.
The benefit is called Pension Credit, and it is specifically designed to assist pensioners who may be struggling with a limited income.
It is totally separate from the state pension, and individuals could receive it even if they have other income, savings or their own home.
Pension Credit works to top-up income to a certain level depending on someone’s circumstances.
If they are single, their weekly income can be topped up to £182.60.
Joint weekly income is topped up to £278.70 if a person has a partner.
The top up is known as Guarantee Credit, and may comprise extra amounts for those who have other responsibilities and costs.
Certain individuals may also be eligible for another part of Pension Credit known as Savings Credit.
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This will be the case if the following apply:
- A person reached state pension age before April 6, 2016
- A person saved some money for retirement, for example through a personal or workplace pension.
Individuals will get up to £14.48 Savings Credit per week if they are single, and up to £16.20 a week if they have a partner.
Some may still get Savings Credit even if they do not get the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit.
However, Pension Credit is an underclaimed benefit – with many who are eligible failing to get the sum which is rightfully theirs.
Currently, over 1.4 million pensioners in Britain receive Pension Credit.
It is estimated up to £1.7billion, however, is being left unclaimed.
Guy Opperman, the former minister for pensions, recently urged people to check if they are entitled.
He said: “We recognise the challenges some pensioners will be facing with the cost of living which is why promoting Pension Credit is a priority.
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“That’s why we’re calling on everyone with retired family, friends and loved ones to check in with them and see if they can get this extra financial support.”
Individuals can claim Pension Credit early by phone and online.
Older people should be able to apply safely and easily, wherever they are.
In addition, the Government has developed a Pension Credit calculator, designed to help people check if they are likely to be eligible.
The tool also offers insight into what people could potentially receive based on the information they provide.
Individuals will need details of:
- Their earnings, benefits and pensions
- Their savings and investments.
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