State pension age? You could be missing out on £2,656 each year – check eligibility

Pension credit: Rees-Mogg urges Brits to check eligibility

State Pension payments can provide important financial aid, however, some Britons may even be eligible to receive additional sums of money. One payment which could be of particular use to those of state pension age is Pension Credit, designed to provide a ‘top-up’ for pensioners. The sum is split into two parts: Guarantee Credit and Pension Credit, with the amount a person receives dependent on their circumstances.

Guarantee Credit tops up weekly income if it is below a certain amount, while Savings Credit is an extra payment for those who saved money towards their retirement. 

Pension Credit, though, is unfortunately a payment which is vastly under claimed by those who are actually entitled to it.

In fact, research undertaken by Just Group revealed many people could be missing out on significant sums of money.

On average, the research stated, pensioners who are failing to claim are losing out to the tune of £2,656 per year. 

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This could be a potentially life-changing sum of money when thought about over an extended period of time in retirement.

Having extra cash in one’s pocket could open the door to numerous retirement goals, or even simply assist with regular costs of day-to-day living.

Back in 2020, Just Group called for further education into Pension Credit alongside the other payments Britons could be receiving to help them.

But in addition to the payments Pension Credit can provide, there are also other benefits which may go unnoticed when it comes to receiving the sum.

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Pension Credit is described as a gateway benefit, meaning a claim could provide Britons with other levels of support.

Perhaps most notably is the entitlement to a free TV Licence, a topic which has caused a great level of controversy in recent months.

It was previously the case all over 75s could receive a free TV Licence, but following rule changes in August 2020, the approach is different.

Now, only those over 75 in receipt of Pension Credit can get a free TV Licence, which can reduce another day-to-day cost.

Currently, the standard TV Licence costs £157.50, so it is understandable those who are eligible to receive it for free will want to take advantage of this opportunity.

There are also other upsides to a Pension Credit claim which are worthwhile bearing in mind.

AgeUK has explained it is unlikely those in receipt of Pension Credit will have to pay a Council Tax bill, unless other people live with them.

Indeed, Pension Credit recipients also receive free NHS dental treatment, alongside being able to claim assistance towards the cost of travel to hospital, and the cost of glasses.

In the winter, Britons on Pension Credit can also receive a Cold Weather Payment of £25 if their area has faced seven consecutive days of sub-zero temperatures.

The application process to receive Pension Credit payments is intended to be an easy one. 

Britons can start an application up to four months before reaching state pension age, but can also claim at any time.

They will need certain information to hand such as a National Insurance number, details about savings, and bank account information.

Individuals can use the online service to apply if they have already claimed their state pension sum.

Alternatively, people may choose to apply for Pension Credit by phone or by post, although this process is taking longer at present due to COVID-19. 

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