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Your essential guide to benefits and perks in retirement

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Written by: Vince Smith-Hughes
19/02/2018
As well as gaining more time and freedom in retirement, pensioners can also receive a number of benefits, discounts and perks.

Did you know that when you reach State Pension Age you no longer pay National Insurance contributions – even if you’re still working? Many people don’t know this, and along with any State Pension you may get, there may be other financial benefits as you get older too.

According to Age UK, each year up to £3.5bn of Pension Credit and Housing Benefit goes unclaimed by older people. That’s money you could be entitled to. In addition, you could save on travel, health costs, and things like days out and going to the cinema.

Here’s a run down on what may be available to you:

Pension Credit
If you’re aged 60 or over, living in the UK and are on a low income then you may be able to get ‘top ups’ for the State Pension. That means you get a higher income.

Housing Benefit
You could get help to pay your rent if you are on a low income.

Council Tax reduction
If you’re on a low income and your savings are below a certain amount you might be able to get a reduction on your Council Tax. This could be as much as 100% so if you think you might qualify, it’s worth checking.

Winter Fuel Payment
You could get between £100 and £300 tax-free to help you pay your heating bills.

Attendance Allowance
If you’re aged 65 or over you could claim Attendance Allowance. This is to help with your care if you have an illness or disability.

Cold Weather Payment
If you’re getting certain benefits, such as Pension Credit, you may be eligible to claim the Cold Weather Payment. This is to help you during periods of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.

Disability Living Allowance
The Disability Living Allowance is designed to help with any extra costs you face because of disability. If you think you might qualify, visit the site for more information.

Carer’s Allowance
If you care for someone for 35 hours or more per week, then you could be entitled to Carer’s Allowance.

Savings on health and travel costs
Here are the main ways you could save on health and travel costs. But it’s a good idea to find out what else is available in your local area too as benefits can vary depending on where you live.

Free prescriptions and eye tests
If you’re over 60 years of age then you qualify for free prescriptions and eye tests from the NHS.

Pension Credit health benefits
If you receive Pension Credit then you qualify for free prescriptions and eye tests, as well as free NHS dental treatment.

Free bus pass
If you live in England, once you reach State Pension Age, you could travel for free on local buses. To

Senior railcard
For £30 a year (as at May 2017), anyone aged 60 or over can save 1/3 on Standard and First Class rail fares throughout Britain for a year with a Senior Railcard.

Other ways to save
Many museums, cinemas and attractions offer discounted prices for the over 60s, so whether you fancy a trip on the London Eye or fancy watching the latest blockbuster – make sure you look out for concession prices.

Vince Smith-Hughes is a retirement expert at Prudential

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  • Drumtochty Glen

    If you run your own limited company and are a sole director over 65, the company still pays 13.6% employers NI on your income and if you are also getting the state pension it will probably be better to take dividends as you will probably be a basic rate tax payer. Therefore the dividend tax is less than the employers NI contribution.

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