DWP encourages 1 million elderly people to see if they qualify for an annual top-up of £ 3,000
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) estimates that up to one million retirees in households in the UK are entitled to pension credits but not receiving the benefit.
The retirement loan can help top up retirement income even if someone is already in receipt of a pension or has another source of regular payments. Some retirees think they are not eligible for the benefit upgrade because of savings or home ownership, but many are missing out on extra money every month.
At a recent parliamentary hearing, DWP Foreign Minister Dr. Therese Coffey that even if someone applies and receives only two pence a week from the UK government, it opens the door to additional perks and discounts.
This is because people who receive a Pension Credit are also eligible for additional financial assistance from the council tax or housing benefit and if they are over 75 they will also receive a Free TV license – a saving of £ 159 on that Annual fee.
Dr. Coffey told the Labor and Pensions Committee, “About three-quarters of the people we estimate are eligible for the Minimum Income Guarantee are turning on. We estimate that only about half of the people apply on the savings side.
“I’m assuming a lot of this isn’t driven by complexity, but if you go through some of the calculations, you might get pennies out of the savings element.”
She continued, “We will continue to highlight the other benefits that may arise, even if the honestly gives you two pence a week [UK] Government, whatever you might be entitled to.
“We’ll continue to promote it, but we did quite a bit of advertising over the past year. We can’t force people to apply for it. There are many indicators. ”
Additional benefits when using the pension credit
- Free TV license for over 75s: worth £ 159 per year
- Council Tax Reduction: Potentially worth £ 1,000 to £ 2,000 per year
- Warm Homes Discount: Worth £ 140 per year
- Housing benefit: potentially worth £ 1,000 per year
- Cold Weather Payments: May be worth £ 25 per week in winter
- Free home insulation and boiler grants: £ 1,000 worth of some
- Free dental treatment: for some, worth € 100 a year
- Voucher for glasses / contact lenses: worth between € 39 and € 215 depending on the prescription
To encourage people over the legal retirement age and their families to apply, the DWP recently released two new short videos on YouTube covering the basics of retirement credit with a link to the relevant pages on GOV.UK.
They have also introduced a new Retirement Credit Toolkit that includes a quick guide to eligibility, payment details, and a link to the online Retirement Credit Calculator.
The DWP target is aimed at health visitors, domestic helpers, day care workers, social counselors, general practitioners and office workers, the local pharmacist who writes their prescriptions, people in the post office where they collect their pension, local councilors or friends and family to help them help determine if they might be eligible for an annuity credit.
To help people get started, the DWP guidelines state that there are four main questions when it comes to whether an elderly person is eligible for a pension credit.
1. How old are you?
2. If you have a partner, how old is your partner?
3. What is your weekly income? Is it less than £ 173.75 if they’re single or £ 265.20 if they’re a couple?
4. Do you have any savings? Are you less than 10,000 pounds?
The DWP said, “People with higher incomes or savings can still qualify for retirement credit, but these questions are a good basic guide to who is likely to be eligible.”
The guide adds that if they are over 65 and the state retirement age is before 6th
- £ 208.68 – when single
- £ 304.25 – when they are a couple
People may have applied for a retirement loan in the past and told them they were not eligible at the time, but a change in their circumstances could now lead to a different outcome.
Use the pension balance calculator here or call the pension balance helpline on 0800 99 1234 and find out how much you can get.
What is a pension balance?
The Retirement Credit is an earnings-related benefit aimed at those living in the UK above the state retirement age.
It offers older people a weekly increase in their income – alternatively every 14 days or every four weeks.
It is available to single pensioners, including widows and widowers, and couples.
In order to be able to use the calculator, you need the following information:
You’ll need the same details for your partner, if you have one.
Who cannot use the pension balance calculator?
You cannot use the calculator if you or your partner:
defer your state pension
own more than one property
Have housing costs (e.g. utilities or rent for crown tenants) that are neither mortgage repayments nor rent covered by housing benefit
Did you know there are a number of ways to stay up to date with the latest money saving and benefit news from the Daily Record?
Join the discussion on our Money Saving Scotland Facebook group for tips on saving money, benefit news, consumer help and advice, and the latest shopping deals.
Sign up for our weekly record money newsletter to have our best stories sent straight to your inbox. You can either register by entering your email address in the registration field near the top of this page or by clicking here.
So make a claim
You can start your application up to four months before you reach the statutory retirement age.
You can apply at any time after you have reached statutory retirement age, but your application can only be made retrospectively for three months.
This means you can get up to three months of annuity credit on your first payment if you were eligible during that time.
You will need:
Your social security number
Information about your income, savings and investments
Your bank details if you apply by telephone or post
If you backdate your entitlement, you will need information about your income, savings and investments as of the date you want your entitlement to begin.
You can use the online service if:
To verify your eligibility, call the Pension Credit Hotline on 0800 99 1234 or use the GOV.UK Pension Credit Calculator here to find out how much you could get.
Get the latest news on money savings and benefits delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our weekly money newsletterhere.