It also marks Pension Credit qualifying age, and it means that for those who are eligible, they may be able to boost their income.
According to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) last June, overall, there is a 60 percent take-up of Pension Credit, and there are more than one million people entitled who are not yet claiming the benefit.
The Money Advice Service says on the matter: “Pension Credit provides additional retirement income if you are on a low income, but one in three of the people who are entitled to it don’t claim it.
“If you’re one of these, you’re missing out on hundreds of pounds a year.”
An analysis by Independent Age last year, based on data from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), found 1.3 million pensioner households are not claiming Pension Credit despite being entitled to it.
What is Pension Credit?
Pension Credit is an income-related benefit, and it’s made up of two parts.
These are Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.
However, it’s only those who reached state pension age before April 6, 2016 who are eligible to claim the Savings Credit part of Pension Credit.
“Even if you find out you are only entitled to a small amount of Pension Credit, it’s worth claiming it as it might help you qualify for other benefits, as well as providing some extra income,” The Money Advice Service states.
Pension Credit eligibility rules changed last May, meaning some mixed-age couples may no longer be able to apply for the payment.
In order to get it, an individual must live in England, Scotland or Wales and have reached state pension age to qualify for Pension Credit.
Those who are in a couple can start getting Pension Credit if either:
- They and their partner have both reached state pension age
- one of them is getting Housing Benefit for people over state pension age.
“Your partner is your husband, wife or civil partner (if you live with them) or someone else you live with as if you were married,” Gov.uk explains.
Should a couple having been getting Pension Credit prior to the change in the rules last May, they may continue to get the payment.
“You’ll continue to get Pension Credit if you were getting it before 15 May 2019 even if your partner is under state pension age,” the government website states.
However, should the entitlement stop for any reason – such as circumstances change – then the recipient cannot start to get it again unless they or their partner are eligible under the new rules.
The new rules may well be something some couples looking to live together need to consider.
That’s because a person will stop getting Pension Credit if they start living with a partner who is under state pension age.
When their partner reaches state pension age, they would then be able to start getting it again.
The DWP says that the quickest and easiest way to apply for Pension Credit is by phone, on the number 0800 99 1234.