State pension: You may get extra money through pension credit & rates will rise next month

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Budget 2021: Sunak announces pension lifetime allowance freeze

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State pension rates will be increasing next month as triple lock rules raise payments by two percent. From April 12, the full rate of the new state pension will rise from £175.20 per week to £179.60.

Additionally, the pension credit rate will rise from £173.75 per week for single claimants to £177.10 next month.

For couples, it will jump from £265.20 to £270.30 a week.

Pension credit is an income-related benefit made up of two parts, guarantee credit and savings credit.

Guarantee credit will top up weekly income to £173.75 for single claimants who receive less than that amount in retirement.

This increases to £265.20 for couples.

Savings credit is an extra payment awarded to those who have saved some money towards their retirement, for example through a private pension.

Single claimants will receive an additional £13.97 per week if they qualify for savings credit.

Eligible couples will get a weekly boost of up to £15.62.

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The Government notes claimants may get more from pension credit if they’re a carer, severely disabled, responsible for a child or young person or have certain housing costs.

To work out how much a claimant could receive, a pension credit calculator is available on the Government’s website.

It should also be noted that claimants who get gurantee credit could also qualify for other benefits such as council tax reductions, housing benefit and cold weather payments.

A benefits calculator can also be used to see if a claimant is eligible for anything else.

To be eligible for pension credit, claimants must live in England, Scotland or Wales and have reached state pension age.

For couples, they can start getting pension credit if either:

  • Both have reached state pension age
  • One of theme is getting housing housing benefit for people over state pension age

A partner is classed as a husband, wife, civil partner (if they live together) or someone esle being lived with as if they were married.

Pension credit can be claimed up to four months before reaching state pension age, which is currently 66.

Claims for pension credit can be made at any time after reaching state pension age but they can only be backdated by up to three months.

This could mean a claimant may receive up to three months worth of payments in their initial payment.

To claim, a person will need the following ready:

  • Their National Insurance number
  • Information on their income, savings and investments
  • Their bank account details, if they’re applying by phone or post.

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