People of statutory retirement age can take advantage of a large number of additional benefits and discounts in retirement
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimates that up to 1.9 million people who have reached state retirement age live in poverty because many do not receive the benefits they are entitled to.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) pays people who have reached state retirement age a steady taxable income for the rest of their lives. It’s not a means test, but the amount you get depends on how many qualifying years of Social Security contributions or credits you have earned. – You can check your pension forecast online on GOV.UK here and your state retirement age here.
The Money Advice Service has put together a comprehensive list of all of the benefits and discounts you might get and how to find out if you are eligible.
The easiest way to check eligibility is to use an online performance calculator. If you have an elderly family member or friend who doesn’t have internet access or is unfamiliar with a computer, help them to make sure they don’t miss out on any additional financial assistance.
Retirement benefits and discounts include:
- State pension
- Retirement assets
- Help with the council tax
- Help with heating costs
- Health benefits
- Travel and TV benefits
- War widow and widower benefits
The pension loan is intended for people with low incomes and is intended to increase the income of a pensioner to a guaranteed minimum level.
The Money Advice Service adds, âMany people who are eligible for a pension do not claim it. So find out if you are eligible and don’t miss out if you are eligible.
Help with the council tax
Whether you own or rent a home, you may be eligible for assistance from your local government to help you pay your council tax. Contact your local council to ask for help with council tax.
Winter fuel payments
This is a tax-free payment to help people born on or before January 5, 1954 keep warm over the winter. The amount you will receive depends on your age and who lives with you in your house. If you received payment in previous years, you should receive it again with no entitlement.
You should also get it automatically if you meet the age and residence criteria and receive a variety of UK Government benefits including:
- State pension
- Retirement assets
- Unemployment benefit
- Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
If you are eligible, you will receive a letter in October confirming how much money you can expect. The letter also explains how to update inaccurate information such as your bank details – this should be checked immediately as payment delays can occur.
About three weeks after receiving the letter, which according to the credit reporting service will be in November or December for most, you will receive the winter fuel payment in your chosen bank account. The payment reference on your bank statement is “DWP Winter Fuel”.
Find out more about winter fuel payment on the GOV.UK website here.
Payment in cold weather
These Â£ 25 payments are made when your local temperature is measured or forecast to be either an average of zero degrees Celsius or below for seven consecutive days between November 1st and March 31st of each year.
If you are entitled to a number of other earnings-related benefits, including retirement credits, you are automatically entitled to cold weather payments.
To learn more, visit the GOV.UK website here.
Discount program for warm houses
Certain low-income individuals and means-tested benefits may have a deduction from their winter electricity bill through the Warm Homes Discount Program – the discount is Â£ 140 for the 2021-22 tax year.
There are two ways to qualify:
- If you receive the guarantee loan element of the annuity loan and your supplier participates in the system, this deduction will normally be automatically deducted from your invoice
- If you have a low income, are receiving certain means-tested benefits and your supplier is part of the system, you can also get this allowance
People with prepaid or pay-as-you-go meters can also get the discount, but you need to talk to your supplier about how to get it.
Find out more here about the Warm Home Discount, if you qualify, and the participating energy providers on GOV.UK.
Insulation and heating schemes
There are a number of systems that improve insulation and heating to make your home more energy efficient.
You are likely to be eligible if your home is poorly insulated or does not have a working central heating system and if you receive a range of income-related benefits, including retirement credits.
Find out more from Home Energy Scotland here or by calling 0808 808 2282.
Everyone in Scotland is entitled to free prescriptions. over 60 years receive free prescriptions.
Invalidity and long-term care benefits
A range of services are available to people with disabilities or with special needs.
These benefits include:
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – if you have not reached the statutory retirement age, if you have reached the statutory retirement age when you apply for PIP, this will continue
- Disability allowance (DLA) – You must have applied for this before you have reached the statutory retirement age
- A Care allowance – if you have passed the statutory retirement age and have not applied for a DLA or PIP
For each of these benefits, we have dedicated sections on the Daily Record website:
Travel and TV benefits
People in Scotland qualify for a free bus pass when they are 60 years old.
If you are over 60 or disabled, find out more about travel discounts from the money advisory service here.
If you were born on or before September 2, 1929 and are a UK national you may be eligible for a free passport. Find out more here and how to apply on the GOV.UK website.
Free / discounted TV license
You will now have to pay for your television license unless you receive a pension credit.
Individuals who have passed the statutory retirement age may be able to obtain the television license at half price if they are registered as severely visually impaired or blind.
Check out Money Advice Service’s TV Licensing Guide here to find out if you’re eligible.
War widow and widower benefits
If your husband, wife or domestic partner is as a result of service in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces (HM) or during wartime before the 6th or widower’s pension.
If, after April 6, 2005, you died, injured, or fell ill as a result of a war effort in a conflict, you may be entitled to compensation through the Armed Forces Compensation System.
Find out more about war widow and widower pensions and allowances on the GOV.UK website here.
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Medical expenses for war pensioners
If you need medical treatment because of a disability during military service, you can receive medical allowance for your recognized disability.
War disability pension
If you were injured or disabled during your military service before April 6, 2005, you can receive additional help towards your pension. You can find more information about the War Disablement Pension on the GOV.UK website here.
Age Scotland also has a full list of the benefits, discounts and benefits older people can enjoy. More information can be found here on their website.
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