Pension Credit in Great Britain is administered by the Department of Works and Pensions (England, Wales, Scotland) and the Department for Social Development (Northern Ireland). There are two types of Pension Credit: Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit. Guarantee Credit is available when you reach the minimum qualifying age: 60 for women and 65 for men, as of 2010. The minimum qualifying age is gradually increasing to 65 for both sexes by 2020. If you were born prior to April 6, 1950 you may be entitled to Guarantee Credit whether you are male of female. Savings credit is available if you are 65 or over (subject to qualifying criteria).
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Things you need
- National Insurance number
- Details of savings, investments and income
- Bank account details
Check whether you qualify for Guarantee Credit before you apply. You can apply for Pension Credit up to four months prior to the date you become eligible. You may be able to get Pension Credit from age 60, if you were born prior to April 6, 1950. If you were born after April 6, 1950, use the Directgov State Pension age calculator to check your qualification. Generally you can apply for pension credit once you attain age 60 (women) or age 65 (men), although pension age is gradually increasing for women to 65 by 2020. You must be a resident of Great Britain to qualify.
Enter your date of birth in the calculator and then click "Submit." The results page will inform you if you can apply for Pension Credit.
Check that you qualify for Savings Credit. You must reside in Great Britain. It is possible to get Savings Credit with or without Guarantee Credit. You must be 65 or over and have saved towards your pension or have a second pension. If you live with a partner, one of you must have attained age 65.
Get your National Insurance number, details about your savings, investments, other income and your bank account details nearby before applying for Pension Credit. You will need them when you speak to a pension adviser.
Call toll-free 0800-99-1234 if you reside in England, Wales or Scotland between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. weekdays or call on Saturday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. If you reside in Northern Ireland, call 0808-100-6165 weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Give the pension adviser your name, address and contact number. The adviser will explain the phone application process. Provide the adviser with your National Insurance number, income, savings and investment details. Make sure you provide accurate information, as the details will be verified before you receive Pension Credit.
Provide your bank details and any other information requested. The adviser will inform you of the procedure to get your Pension Credit. You will receive a letter telling you whether you application for Pension Credit was successful, the amount payable and the date payments start.
Download the application form to apply for pension credit in writing. Use the Directgov link if you reside in England, Scotland and Wales or the NIDirect.gov link if you live in Northern Ireland.
Read the notes carefully and complete the form online using the interactive PDF document, if you live in England, Wales or Scotland, then print the completed form. If you live in Northern Ireland, print the form and then read the notes. Carefully complete the application form.
Call 0845-60-60-265 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. weekdays if you live in England, Wales or Scotland to find your nearest mailing address.
If you live in Northern Ireland, mail your application form to
Social Security Agency
The Pension Service
P.O. Box 205
Londonderry, BT48 6YB.
You will receive written confirmation about your entitlement to Pension Credit, the amount payable and the commencement date.
Tips and warnings
- If you are approved for Pension Credit, the money will be paid directly into your bank, building society, Post Office or National Savings account.
- The amount of Pension Credit is based upon your income and savings. If your income is below £132.60 per week (single person) or £202.40 per week (if you have a partner) as of summer 2010, you may be entitled to Pension Credit to bring your income up to the aforesaid amounts. Your personal savings must not exceed £10,000.
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