Benefits for people who are State Pension age

3. Pension Credit

You may qualify for Pension Credit if you (and your partner if you have one) are over State Pension age and you are on a low income. There is no capital limit but some income from capital will be taken into account if you have savings of more than £10,000.

You do not have to have paid national insurance contributions to qualify. You can work whilst claiming Pension Credit but most of your earnings will be taken into account when calculating your entitlement.

Pension Credit is not taxable and an award may help you qualify for other benefits.

If you are part of a couple but your partner is in a care home, nursing home or hospital and this will likely be the case for more than 52 weeks, you are not counted as a couple for benefit purposes and you need to claim as a single person.

Pension credit is made up of 2 parts: Guarantee Pension Credit and Savings Pension Credit.

Guarantee Pension Credit is means-tested, which means that your (and your partner if you have one) income and capital is taken into account when calculating your entitlement. You may qualify for more if you are a carer, severely disabled, responsible for a child or young person or you have certain housing costs.

New claims to Savings Pension Credit cannot be made if you reached State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016. If you reached State Pension age before this date, you can find further information on Savings Pension Credit on GOV.UK.

You can check your entitlement to Pension Credit on the Pension Credit calculator on GOV.UK.


The additional amount for a carer can be included if you or your partner:

  • receive Carer’s Allowance, or
  • have claimed Carer’s Allowance and fulfil the conditions for it but cannot be paid it as you get State Pension or another benefit instead. In this

case you have an ‘underlying entitlement’ to Carer’s Allowance.

If you and your partner both qualify for the carer addition, the higher (couple) rate is included. If only one of you is a carer the single rate is included.

NB: Where Carer’s Allowance is being paid, the person you care for might lose their severe disability premium/addition, which may be worth more than the carer addition. If you are not sure whether to claim Carer’s Allowance, please seek advice first.

Mixed age couples

From 14 May 2019 mixed age couples (where one of you is under State Pension age) can no longer claim Pension Credit.

Mixed age couples currently getting Pension Credit (claimed before 14 May 2019) can continue to receive it. But, if your circumstances change and there is a break in your Pension Credit entitlement, you cannot make a new claim for Pension Credit until you both reach State Pension age.

How to claim

You can find further information on Pension Credit on GOV.UK including qualifying criteria and how to claim.

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