What is Pension Credit?

Pension credit is a means tested benefit for people on a low income who are at least pension age.

There are 2 parts to pension credit (PC); Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit. You may be able to claim either part depending on your circumstances.

You can claim whether or not you are still working. You do not need to have paid any national insurance contributions.

You can check your own qualifying age by either phoning the pension service or by checking the state pension age calculator:

Who can get Pension Credit?

Guarantee Credit

You may be eligible to claim Guarantee Credit if:

  • you are at least pension age.
  • you have no income, or your income is less than the minimum guarantee amount.
  • you have capital of £10,000 or less this will not affect your pension credit. There is no capital limit for pension credit but if you have capital of more than £10,000, this will incur a tariff income and the amount of pension credit will be reduced.

Savings Credit

Savings Credit is intended to provide extra money for people who have made provision for their retirement by having savings or income.

You may be eligible for Savings Credit if:

  • you are aged 66 or over and have reached pension age before 06 April 2016 and
  • have 'qualifying income' above the savings credit threshold ie you have savings or a weekly pension above £189.80 if you are single, or £301.22 as a couple (2024/25 rate).

How much is pension credit?

Type of claim Guarantee Credit
Savings Credit
Single claimant £218.15 up to a maximum of £17.01
Claiming as a couple £332.95 up to a maximum of £19.04

These rates may be higher if you have a severe disability, are a carer, have a child or certain housing costs.

How to claim

The quickest way to apply for Pension Credit is by phone but you can also claim online.

A friend or family member can call for you but you must be with them when they call.

Pension Credit Claim line

What you need to claim

You will need:

  • your National Insurance number
  • information about your income, savings and investments
  • your bank account details

The earliest you can start your application is 4 months before you reach State Pension age.

You can claim any time after you reach State Pension age but your claim can only be backdated for 3 months.