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Pension credit deadline looming

Written by: Emma Lunn
Retirees have been urged to check whether they can make a backdated claim for Pension Credit before the 13 August deadline.

After Tuesday so called “mixed age” couples – where one partner is above state pension age while the other is below will have to wait until both partners are above state pension age before making a claim for Pension Credit.

The change was brought in on 15 May but claims can be backdated. To take advantage, the older partner will need to have been above state pension age and eligible to claim Pension Credit before 15 May.

Pension Credit is an income-related benefit that tops up a pensioner’s weekly income if it’s below £167.25 for single people or £255.25 for a couple.

Couples who don’t make the deadline will have to claim Universal Credit until both partners reach state pension age. This could cost some couples as much as £7,000 a year.

Pension Credit also acts as a gateway to other benefits such as free TV licenses (from 2020) and the Warm Home Discount.

Potential claimants can call the Pension Service on 0800 99 1234 with their National Insurance number, information on income, savings and investments and bank account details. Claims can be taken over the phone or a paper application can be made.

Helen Morrissey, pension specialist at Royal London, said: “Pension Credit is designed to help the very poorest of pensioners and can have a significant impact on their standard of living. However, only a fraction of the number who can claim it are actually doing so. Making a claim is quick and easy and we would urge anyone who thinks they might be eligible to call the Pension Credit Claim line before Tuesday otherwise they could be dealing a huge blow to their income in retirement.”

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