UK Credit

Martin Lewis encourages a million people on state pensions to check if they qualify for a weekly top-up

Martin Lewis is urging over a million people of state pension age across the UK to check if they are eligible for a weekly cash top-up from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The pension credit can help supplement retirement income, even if someone already receives a pension or has another source of regular payments. Some seniors think that because they have savings or own their homes they won’t qualify for the increased payments, but many are running out of extra money each week.

Martin told Money Show Live viewers: ‘There are over a million people of state pension age who don’t get the pension credit. If that’s you, think about it, and if you know someone who might be eligible, talk to them.

He continued: “This [Pension Credit] can top up your state pension if your total weekly pension is less than £177 for a single person or £270 for a couple.

“Even if you earn more than that, if you have some savings, you might still be eligible for a little top-up pension credit.”

The financial guru also explained why making a claim is so important.

He said: “The reason it’s so important is that it’s a gateway benefit, so if you qualify for the basic pension credit element and you have over 75, you get a free TV license, your council tax can be reduced and you can get the Warm Home discount.

“So it’s very important to trigger getting that.”

And for anyone who is put off by considering their eligibility or has a family member who might be eligible for help, Martin had one final piece of advice.

“If you’re not sure if you qualify, call the pensions department and talk to them to find out,” he urged.

What is Pension Credit?

Pension Credit is an income-related benefit for people living in the UK who are over retirement age.

It offers seniors a weekly supplement to their income – you can also choose to be paid fortnightly or every four weeks.

It is accessible to single pensioners, including widows and widowers, as well as to couples.

To use the calculator, you will need details of:

You will need the same details for your partner if you have one.

Who cannot use the pension credit calculator?

You cannot use the calculator if you or your partner:

  • defer your state pension

  • own more than one property

  • are self-employed

  • have housing costs (such as service charges or Crown tenant rent) that are neither mortgage payments nor rent covered by Housing Benefit

How to make a claim

You can start your application up to four months before reaching retirement age.

You can apply anytime after reaching state retirement age, but your application can only be backdated by three months.

This means you can get up to three months of pension credit on your first payment if you qualified during that time.

You will need:

  • your national insurance number

  • information about your income, savings and investments

  • your bank details, if you are applying by phone or by post

If you are backdating your application, you will need details of your income, savings and investments as of the date you want your application to start.

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Apply online

You can use the online service if:

To check your entitlements, call the Pension Credit Helpline on 0800 99 1234 or use the GOV.UK Pension Credit Calculator here to find out how much you could get.

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