Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis has shared income boosting advice for those aged over 66. He explained on the website how nearly one million eligible pensioners in the UK are missing out on a payment of more then £3000 a year.
“It’s called pension credit,” Martin wrote. “And this year it also means you get an extra £650 to help with energy bills.” He added that the extra money will be vital for many this winter which is likely to be “dangerously expensive”.
Explaining who qualifies and how they can access their credit, Martin wrote on the Money Saving Expert website : “My simple rule of thumb is if you are of state pension age (so currently 66 or older) and have total weekly income under roughly £200, then get online at www.gov.uk/pensioncredit or call the pension credit helpline on 0800 99 1234 (or 0808 100 6165 in Northern Ireland) to see if you’re due.
“I’m not saying everyone in this position is entitled to pension credit, but many are, so this is the point at which it’s worth spending five minutes to check. The worst that can happen is they say no. So don’t stall, just call (actually, try the website first if you’re more comfortable with that, but I couldn’t think of a rhyme for going online).”
Martin explained how the pension credit is effectively an income ‘top-up’ payment. It’s a means-tested benefit to help those without enough to live off, he said.
The pension credit would top up your weekly income to £182.60 if you’re single or your joint weekly income to £278.70 if you have a partner. You may get extra amounts if you have other responsibilities and costs. These aspects of pension credit are known as ‘guaranteed credit’, according to Gov.uk. You can get more news and other story updates by subscribing to our newsletters here.
If you reached state pension age before April 2016 you may be due a top up if you have savings, even if you’re not due guarantee credit. This is known as ‘savings credit’.
Martin Lewis said if you are eligible for ‘guaranteed credit’, you will also get a one-off lump sum of £650 – £325 paid in July and £325 paid in autumn. The chancellor Rishi Sunak announced this cash in May. Provided you claim by August 24, 2022, it’ll be due, as long as you were state pension age in May.