Pension Credit

Page updated on: 04/09/2023

Pension Credit can top up a person’s income and it can also provide access to a range of other entitlements such as help with housing costs, council tax, heating bills and for those aged 75 or over, a free TV licence.

Although take up of Pension Credit is at the highest level since 2010, there are still too many people missing out. 


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:

  • have reached Pension Credit qualifying age, which is State Pension age, and
  • live in Great Britain

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

You may get extra amounts if you have other responsibilities and costs.

The top up and extra amounts are known as ‘Guarantee Credit’.

Pension Credit gives you extra money to help with your living costs if you’re over State Pension age and on a low income. Pension Credit can also help with housing costs such as ground rent or service charges.

Pension Credit is separate from your State Pension.

You can get Pension Credit even if you have other income, savings or own your own home.

Pension Credit is worth, on average, £3,500 a year.

You might get extra help if you’re a carer, severely disabled, or responsible for a child or young person.

You can use the Pension Credit calculator to find out if you’re eligible for Pension Credit and how much you could get:

If you get Pension Credit you can also get other help, such as:

  • Housing Benefit if you rent the property you live in
  • Support for Mortgage Interest if you own the property you live in
  • a Council Tax discount
  • a free TV licence if you’re aged 75 or over
  • help with NHS dental treatment, glasses and transport costs for hospital appointments, if you get a certain type of Pension Credit
  • help with your heating costs through the Warm Home Discount Scheme
  • a discount on the Royal Mail redirection service if you’re moving house

Do not rule yourself out. Around 1.5 million pensioners across the UK receive it.

To check your eligibility, use the Pension Credit calculator to find out how much Pension Credit you may be entitled to – without giving any personal details.

The average Pension Credit payment is actually over £65 per week – that’s well over an extra £3,000 per year. Plus, getting Pension Credit can provide a passport to help with things like rent, council tax, Cold Weather Payments and a free TV licence for people aged 75 and over.

People can have savings or another pension and still get extra money. Unlike other income related benefits like Universal Credit, there is no capital cut-off limit and for Pension Credit savings of under £10,000 are ignored.

Homeowners can get Pension Credit too. In fact, almost half of the people who get Pension Credit own their own home.

People can claim as soon as they reach the qualifying age, which is now State Pension age.

You may be entitled to Pension Credit – even if you’re not entitled to a State Pension.

False – Your personal circumstances could have changed, and your 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.

You 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 you wish, you 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 you to claim other benefits (like Housing Benefit, which can help with paying rent) if you’re entitled to those as well.

However, you will need to contact us local directly if you wish to apply for a reduction of your Council Tax.

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