Eligibility

To qualify for Pension Credit:

Your partner is your husband, wife or civil partner (if you live with them) or someone else you live with as if you were married.

Changes to Pension Credit eligibility from 15 May 2019

From 15 May 2019, if you’re in a couple you’ll only be eligible to start getting pension credit if either:

  • you and your partner have both reached Pension Credit qualifying age
  • one of you has reached Pension Credit qualifying age and is claiming Housing Benefit (for you as a couple)

If you’re not already getting Pension Credit on 14 May 2019, you can backdate your claim. You could still be eligible to get Pension Credit.

You can ask for your claim to be backdated to 14 May or before. You’ll need to apply by 13 August 2019 to do this.

You can apply for Universal Credit instead if you’re still not eligible.

If you already get Pension Credit and you’re in a couple

You’ll continue to get Pension Credit after 15 May 2019. If your entitlement stops for any reason, for example your circumstances change, you cannot start getting it again until you (or your partner) are eligible under the new rules.

If you already get Pension Credit and you’re single

From 15 May 2019, you’ll stop getting Pension Credit if you start living with a partner who is under Pension Credit qualifying age. You can start getting it again when your partner reaches Pension Credit qualifying age.

Savings Credit

You can only start getting Savings Credit if you (and your partner, if you have one) reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016.

If your partner did not reach State Pension age before 6 April 2016

If you’ve been getting Savings Credit since before 6 April 2016, you’ll continue to get it as long as there are no breaks in your entitlement.

If you stop being eligible for Savings Credit for any reason, you will not be able to get it again.

Working out your income

When you apply for Pension Credit your income is worked out. This includes:

  • State Pension
  • other pensions
  • most social security benefits, for example Carer’s Allowance
  • savings, investments over £10,000 - for these £1 is counted for every £500 or part £500
  • earnings

If you’re entitled to a private or workplace pension, the amount you’d expect to get is calculated as income from the date you were able to get it, if you had claimed it.

You will not get the benefit of deferring your State Pension if you or your partner are on Pension Credit, for example you will not build up extra State Pension or a lump sum for deferring your State Pension. When working out if you can get Pension Credit, the income you’d get from your State Pension is included whether you’re claiming it or not.

The calculation does not include:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Christmas Bonus 
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Reduction

If you’re registered for Self Assessment, you must tell the Pension Service how much Income Tax you expect to pay for the current tax year - this affects how much Pension Credit you’ll get.

Pension Credit if you leave Great Britain

Your entitlement to Pension Credit may be affected if you leave Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) for any period of time. Call the helpline before you go.

You cannot get Pension Credit if you leave Great Britain permanently.

Pension Service helpline
Telephone: 0800 731 0469
Textphone: 0800 169 0133
NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 731 0469
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges