Pension Credit is a financial benefit offered to the people over 60 years of age in Great Britain, who, along with his/her partner, have weekly income less than a certain level (£130.00 for singles and £198.45 for couples in 2009/10). Introduced in 2003 by Gordon Brown with an aim to pull up the poorest of the retired people out of poverty, Pension Credit substituted the Minimum Income Guarantee introduced in 1997. It is a mean-tested benefit, which is currently payable from the age of 60 years, and is also being augmented in line with the raise of retirement age of the women.
The Pension Credit amount may get increased if the applicant and/or his/her partner are entitled to a disability benefit like Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Attendance Allowance (AA) etc. However, they can only be entitled for this increased amount only if no one claims Carers Allowance for taking care of them. Pension Credit is paid directly into the account of the applicant.
Types of Pension Credit
There can be two varieties of Pension Credit:
- I.Pension Guarantee Credit
- II.Pension Savings Credit
Pension Guarantee Credit
Pension Guarantee Credit is for those who are aged 60 or more and residing in Great Britain. It ensures a minimum earning by topping up the weekly income of the retirees to a certain amount set by the Government, which may change from time to time.
One can claim for the Pension Guarantee Credit if he/she meets the following criteria:
- The minimum age of the person has to be 60.
- Applicant has to a UK citizen. Persons living in UK and satisfying the habitual residency test are also eligible to apply.
- The income of the applicant has to be lower than the Government specified amount. For 2009/10, the amount (weekly) is £130.00 for singles and £198.45 for couples.
Pension Savings Credit
This is the second element of the Pension Credit, which is offered to some of the selected applicants when they reach at the age of 65. It is to reward them for their efforts in saving for their future days.
One can receive any one or both of these Pension Credits depending upon their age, savings and income that they have.
If you are entitled to Pension Credit, you can reap some other benefits as well. As a Pension Credit receiver, you may also qualify for the following benefits:
- Housing Benefits
- Community Care Grants
- Sure Smart Maternity Grant
- Crisis Loans
- Budgeting Loans
- Winter Fuel Payments
- Cold Weather Payments
- Free School Meals
- Funeral Payments