This is an important benefit that you may be entitled to if you have limited savings and a low income.
If you’ve reached State Pension age, you may be able to claim Pension Credit to top up your income if it is low. Four out of 10 people who are eligible fail to claim it, so it’s worth checking whether you’re entitled to it.
There are two parts: Guarantee Pension Credit and Savings Pension Credit
Guarantee Pension Credit tops up your income to a guaranteed minimum amount set by the government. You could get a higher amount if you’re a carer, disabled, or have certain housing costs. You could be eligible even if you have savings, a pension or own your own home.
Savings Pension Credit is an extra payment for people who have saved some money towards their retirement. It is being phased out and you can only claim it if you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016.
You may be eligible for Guarantee Pension Credit if you’ve reached State Pension age and live in England, Scotland or Wales. Find out about Pension Credit in Northern Ireland. You can check your current State Pension age on GOV.UK.
Generally you must have a low income to be entitled to this benefit, but you may still qualify if you’re a carer, disabled or have certain housing costs.
Income that's taken into account for Guarantee Pension Credit includes your earnings, some benefits (including Carer’s Allowance), tax credits, State Pension and private pensions. Some income is disregarded, including any disability benefits you receive, Child Benefit and child maintenance.
You can still get Guarantee Pension Credit if you have savings, although anything over £10,000 will reduce the amount you get.
If you’re a couple, both of you must be over State Pension age to claim. If only one of you is over State Pension age, you will need to claim Universal Credit instead.
Savings Pension Credit is being phased out, so not many new claimants can get it. You may be eligible if you or your partner reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016. It rewards people with a small amount of extra money each week if they have saved towards their retirement. Working out how much you could get is complicated, so contact the Carers UK Helpline for advice at email@example.com.
Guarantee Pension Credit tops up your income to a guaranteed minimum amount. In 2023/24, this is £201.05 a week for a single person and £306.85 for a couple. There are also additional amounts that can be added to this depending on your circumstances.
If you’re a carer
If you’re entitled to Carer’s Allowance, you can get a Carer’s Addition of £42.75 a week added to your minimum amount.
If you’re disabled
You can get a Severe Disability Addition of £76.40 added to your minimum amount if all the following apply:
- you claim one of the following disability benefits: the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment, the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Constant Attendance Allowance or Armed Forces Independence Payment
- no-one gets Carer’s Allowance or the carer element of Universal Credit for looking after you
- you live alone (there are some exceptions to this, for example if you just live with your partner and they also claim a disability benefit).
If someone has an ‘underlying entitlement’ to Carer’s Allowance for looking after you, you can still receive a Severe Disability Addition. An underlying entitlement means they are entitled to Carer’s Allowance for looking after you, but can’t be paid it because they receive another benefit that overlaps with it.
If you have housing costs
If you own your home and pay costs such as service charges or ground rent, you may be able to get help with these through Guarantee Pension Credit.
If you’re responsible for a child
If you’re responsible for a child or young person who normally lives with you, you may get a ‘child addition’ added to your minimum amount. This could be an extra £56.35 per week for each child you're responsible for.
Even if you’re only entitled to a small amount of Pension Credit, it’s worth claiming as it means you qualify for other benefits and concessions. For example, you could get:
- your rent and Council Tax paid in full, depending on your circumstances
- free NHS dental treatment and sight tests
- help with the cost of glasses or contact lenses
- help with travel costs to hospital for NHS treatment
- a Cold Weather Payment when the temperature is 0 celsius or below for a week
- money off your electricity bill through the Warm Home Discount Scheme
- a free TV licence if you’re 75 or over.
In England, Wales and Scotland, you can call the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234. The person you speak to will fill in the form over the phone with you and send it to you to check. You can also currently apply online, although this may change in future.
To apply by post, you can download and print out a claim form from GOV.UK, or call the claim line for a form.
You can ask for Pension Credit to be backdated for up to three months.
If your personal circumstances or your income or savings change, you must report this as it could affect your eligibility for Pension Credit.
In England, Wales and Scotland, call the Pension Service on 0800 731 0469. In Northern Ireland, call the Northern Ireland Pension Centre on 0800 587 0892.
Start by asking for a mandatory reconsideration. This means the decision maker has to look again at the decision they made. If you still disagree with the outcome after this, you can make an appeal. Find out more in our guide to challenging a benefits decision.