How to Get a Pension Credit in the UK?

15 Apr 2024 - Category: Blog /
pension credit

Pension credit is a fantastic source of financial aid that can supplement living expenses for retirees. It’s a service that any UK citizen can apply for as long as they meet the minimum pension age.

Pension credit also has some other benefits depending on one’s financial situation. So, for a UK citizen, it is always important to keep track of their pension eligibility.

You can start your application process up to four months before you reach the eligible age for the pension. Online and offline, both methods are viable options as long as you follow all the steps and have all the necessary papers on hand.

But how do you know when you meet the eligibility criteria for pension credit in the UK? In this article, we will talk about that and the application process in detail.


Brief Rundown of the Pension Credit System

Despite having so many benefits, many people in the UK don’t even know about the pension credit system. The main reason is that the pension credit system is different from the standard state pension system.

Up to one million eligible pensions go unclaimed, according to experts. A large portion of that is due to a lack of awareness.

The pension credit system has two parts: the guarantee credit, which is the standard pension credit scheme for most people nowadays. The second category is called the savings credit, and it is, unfortunately, unavailable to anyone who has reached pension age after 2016.

The pension credit system is almost like a gateway because it makes you eligible for many other benefits. Some of those include council tax reduction, housing benefits for people living in rentals, home discounts, and some medical care.

Pension Credit Eligibility

The Pension Credit eligibility requirements are quite straightforward. You need to be a citizen of the UK to meet the first requirement, which means Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England.

Some related steps in the claiming process may vary depending on the country, but the fundamental process is the same.

Secondly, you need a weekly income of no more than £200 for the guarantee credit. The threshold amount is just over £300 for couples. For the savings credit, however, you need a lower threshold income of £175 and £277 for singles and couples, respectively.

The third eligibility requirement is the Pension Credit age limit. The Minimum age for applying for pension credit is the same as the state pension age requirement. At the time of writing this article, the minimum age is 66 years old for both male and female applicants.

Pension Credit Claiming Process

Applicants can apply for the pension credit once they reach the eligible age for the state pension, but you can also do it up to four months earlier than you hit retirement age.

The overall claiming process is quite simple. You just need to have the following information on hand before you make the call:

  • Your National Insurance Number.
  • Your Income certificates.
  • A list of your government and personal benefits.
  • A list of your personal savings and other investments.

After that, go to the website, and it will tell you how to apply for Pension Credit with a guided questionnaire.

You can also call the pension service directly. The Pension Credit contact number for Pension Service is 08007310469 for people living in England, Wales, and Scotland.

People in Northern Ireland need to call the Pension Centre at 08081006165. Both hotlines are open from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday.

Can You Claim Pension Credit if You Already Get State Pension?

Yes, absolutely. The pension credit is totally separate from the regular state pension system. It is designed to be a supplemental income source for people who might struggle despite having their state pension.

Indeed, many people in the UK may not get their full state pension. That can happen if someone has less than the required national insurance contribution or due to mismanagement as well.

In such a scenario, it is difficult to maintain the minimum income for a decent living standard without a financial cushion to fall back on. The pension credit is there to act as that cushion. Pension Credit rates are, therefore, also lower than the state pension.

Can You Get Pension Credit if You’re Away from the UK?

You can get your pension credit for up to four weeks if you leave the UK. There are several conditions tied to such arrangements. You can get a longer duration depending on your exact circumstance.

The conditions are as follows:

  • You must reach the eligibility conditions for pension credit before your departure.
  • You must maintain eligibility status while abroad.
  • The Pension Service, or Pension Centre, needs to be notified of the event before your departure.

You can also get a similar pension credit for four weeks if you need to depart the country because of the death of a close relative. You can also get pension credit if you can not return to the UK because of the death of a relative.

But you can not apply for a pension credit while being outside the UK if you have not notified the pension service before your departure.

You can also get up to twenty-six weeks of pension credit if you need to leave the country for medical reasons. But in that case, you need the necessary papers to show the approval of a certified healthcare provider. This also applies to your dependents, such as a child or spouse.

Send Your Loved Ones Money Through Small World

Once you've secured your pension credit in the UK, it's essential to have a reliable means to access those funds, especially if you have international commitments or family abroad. That's where Small World Money Transfer comes in.

With its user-friendly app, you can seamlessly transfer your pension funds to loved ones worldwide, ensuring financial support reaches them swiftly and securely. So, sign up today for a Small World account.

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