State pension age? How you could boost amount you get each month without leaving home
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced stringent measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 amid the coronavirus pandemic on Monday evening. While the UK is on a lockdown – during which people are only permitted to leave their homes if it’s for a particular reason detailed by the government – it may be that some people who have reached state pension age can increase their monthly payment without leaving their homes.
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According to statistics from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), around 1.6 million people claim Pension Credit – an income-related benefit which some people who have reached state pension age may be able to get.
However, DWP analysis has shown that some people might incorrectly think they aren’t entitled to the benefit.
In June last year, the DWP said that overall, there is a 60 percent take-up of Pension Credit, and there are more than a million people entitled to the benefit who are not yet claiming it.
However, those who are eligible for the payment, could do so from the comfort of their own home.
The DWP says the quickest and easiest way to apply for Pension Credit is by calling 0800 99 1234.
What is Pension Credit?
Pension Credit is a means-tested payment that aims to provide a minimum income for people in retirement, in addition to the state pension.
It is made up of two parts, and these are Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.
The former tops up an eligible person’s weekly income if it’s below £167.25 for single people)or £255.25 for couples.
Meanwhile, Savings Credit is an extra payment for people who saved money towards their retirement, such as a pension.
It’s possible to use a Pension Credit calculator online at Gov.uk in order to work out how much a person may get.
In order to so, the user of the tool would need to input details of their earnings, benefits nad pensions, as well as savings and investments.
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Who is eligible for Pension Credit?
A person must live in England, Scotland or Wales and have reached state pension age in order to qualify for Pension Credit.
Gov.uk states that if a person is in a couple, they can start getting Pension Credit if either:
- They and their partner have both reached state pension age
- One of them is getting Housing Benefit for people over state pension age.
The rules on Pension Credit eligibility for mixed-age couples changed last year.
Gov.uk explains that couples already receiving the payment, will “continue to get Pension Credit if you were getting it before May 15, 2019 even if your partner is under state Pension age”.
“If your entitlement stops for any reason, for example your circumstances change, you cannot start getting it again unless you (or your partner) are eligible under the new rules.”
Should a person already get Pension Credit and be single, they ought to be aware that they could stop getting the benefit – if they start living with a partner who is under state pension age.
They can then start getting Pension Credit again when their partner reaches state pension age.
State pension age is currently rising, with the age set to reach 66 for both men and women by October 2020.
This is ahead of further increases, which will see the age increase to 67 before plans for it to later rise to 68.
It’s possible to check one’s state pension age online via the “Check Your State Pension age” tool online.
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