Martin Lewis discusses pension credit 'top-up'
Martin Lewis appeared on the small screen again last night, using his self-titled Money Show to offer advice to Britons on a whole host of topics. His show focused on the benefits and payments people could be missing out on, and Martin stressed one particularly important payment for those of State Pension age.
Martin explained how over one million Britons are currently missing out on a claim for Pension Credit – a valuable payment designed to help older people.
Dedicating a segment of his show to the payment, he said: “A really big one this – 1.2 million state pensioners are missing out on Pension Credit. Please, please spread the word on this.
“This is a top-up to their weekly income up to £174 per week for a single pensioner.
“People won’t always earn it, but it is definitely worth checking to see if you can.
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“In fact, even if you’ve got a little bit more, some money in savings, you might be entitled to a top-up.
“The reason this is crucial is that a – it could be worth over £1,000 a year, but b – is because I call this a ‘gateway benefit’.
“If you’re entitled to Pension Credit, then you could be entitled to a free TV Licence, Council Tax Reduction, or the Warm Home Discount.
“You should go to gov.uk to see whether you are entitled to it, or alternatively call the Pension Credit claim line.”
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Pension Credit is an income-related benefit which is made up of two separate rates called Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.
Firstly, Guarantee Credit is designed to top up an individual’s weekly income if this is below a certain amount.
The top-up is set at £173.75 for single people, and £265.20 for couples.
But as Martin explained, it is important to check eligibility, as those who have savings, or their own home could still be entitled to receive the sum.
The other element, Savings Credit, is an extra payment for people who saved some money towards their retirement.
Savings Credit is set at up to £13.95 per week for single people, and up to £15.62 for couples.
To be eligible, a person must live in England, Scotland or Wales, and have reached state pension age.
For those hoping to calculate how much they could be entitled to, the government has set up a Pension Credit calculator, accessible online.
It is thought Pension Credit is one of the least claimed benefits, despite millions being entitled to receive the sum.
Recent figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), showed around two in five eligible households are missing out on a claim.
This year, Age UK’s Policy Manager Sally West drew attention to the lack of take-up when it comes to the benefit.
She said: “People may not be aware that benefits such as Pension Credit are available, may think they wouldn’t qualify, may be put off by the process of applying, or feel reluctant to ask for help.
“I worry the problem could be made worse by the current situation. Many older people are very independent and don’t want to be seen as a burden.”
Martin Lewis is the Founder and Chair of MoneySavingExpert.com. To join the 13 million people who get his free Money Tips weekly email, go to www.moneysavingexpert.com/latesttip
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