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Finance Advice That Over 66-Year-Olds Must Know

Finance Advice That Over 66-Year-Olds Must Know

The current state pension age in the UK is 66 or older. Millions of those older than 66 who have been paying into their pensions for decades are currently missing out on a critical boost to their income – pension credit.

If you are of state pension age and your total weekly income amounts to under £200, then either check online at www.gov.uk/pensioncredit or call the pension credit helpline on 0800 99 1234 to see if you are eligible. Checking may only take a few minutes, but can make a great difference to your quality of life.

What is pension credit?

Pension credit is essentially an income ‘top-up’ payment. It is means-tested and consists of two parts.

1. Guarantee credit

This tops up your income by at least £182.60 a week for a single person, and £278.70 for a married couple of state pension age.

The average top-up of guarantee credit each week is £65 a week, amounting to £3,300 a year.

2. Savings credit

If you had hit state pension age before April 2016, you may be entitled to a top-up if you have savings. This can apply even if you are not eligible for guaranteed credit.

If your current income is from savings (this is counted as £1 a week income per £500 of savings above £10,000), this takes you to £158 a week income (or £252 as a couple). This will then mean that you will get paid an extra 60p per £1 of income (up to a maximum of £14.50 a week).

Not only can pensioners claim pension credit, but they may also be eligible for the following:

3. One off lump sum payment

Pensioners may be eligible to receive a one-off lump sum to help them with the rising costs of energy bills, with £325 paid in July, and a further £325 paid to them in autumn.

  • Free TV license

Pensioners over the age of 75 will be eligible for a free TV license if they are claiming pension credit. This is worth £159 annually.

  • Council tax reduction

Depending on your local authority, you may receive a reduction on your council tax saving you thousands a year. For some, this may even cover their entire annual council tax bill.

  • Help with heating and energy costs

Claiming pension credit additionally entitles you to the warm home discount. This is a £150 credit paid towards your energy bill and it is usually given towards the end of March.

In the colder months, you may even receive extra payments in particularly cold periods. See other ways to save on household bills

  • Housing benefits if renting

While this is not a fixed amount, you may be entitled to get housing benefits if you are receiving pension credit. For some, this may mean that their entire rent is paid for.

  • Free dental and optical care

Pensioners who receive pension credit are entitled to free NHS dental care, as well as vouchers for their glasses or contact lenses.