Income, benefits and Pension Credit

Your income may affect how much Pension Credit you can get. Find out how your income may affect Pension Credit and how you can learn if you are missing out on benefits.

Income counted towards Pension Credit

The amount of Pension Credit you get depends on your weekly income and how much you have saved or invested.

The following types of income are taken into account when calculating your Pension Credit:

  • State Pension 
  • occupational (also known as workplace) and private pensions
  • most social security benefits like Carer's Allowance
  • savings, investments over £10,000 - for these £1 is counted for every £500 or part £500
  • earnings after tax and expenses from employment or self-employment, less half of any workplace or personal pension contribution you make

Private or workplace pension

If you're entitled to a private or workplace pension, the amount you'd expect to get is calculated as income from the date you were able to get it, if you had claimed it.

Deferring your State Pension

You won't get the benefit of deferring your State Pension if you or your partner are on Pension Credit; for example, you won't build up extra State Pension or a lump sum for deferring your State Pension. When working out if you can get Pension Credit, the income you'd get from your State Pension is included whether you're claiming it or not.

Combined partners' income and capital 

If you have a partner, you and your partner’s income and capital will be added together when calculating your Pension Credit.

The term ‘partner’ refers to your husband, wife or civil partner, or the person you live with as if they were your husband, wife or civil partner.

Self-assessment taxpayers

If you pay tax by self-assessment and claim Pension Credit, you must tell the Northern Ireland Pension Centre how much income tax you expect to pay for the current tax year.

This will help make sure you are getting the right amount of Pension Credit and may mean you get more. This is because Pension Credit takes account of your  income after tax, including any tax on your State Pension (State Pension is taxable).

Find out more about income tax and tax codes,

Income not counted towards Pension Credit

Income that is not counted towards Pension Credit includes:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Christmas Bonus
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Housing Benefit

Further information is available at the links below, about the following benefits:

You can still get Pension Credit if you are living with your family. The Northern Ireland Pension Centre looks at your income, not theirs. You can still get Pension Credit if you own your own home: the home you live in does not count as ‘capital’.

If your circumstances change

If your circumstances change, for example your capital goes up or down, you should contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre. They can look at your claim again to make sure you are getting the right amount of Pension Credit. 

Appealing a Pension Credit decision

If you are refused Pension Credit or think it has been calculated wrongly, ask the office that dealt with your claim to think again about the decision. If you are still unhappy with the outcome, you can appeal to an independent tribunal.

Unclaimed benefits

If you think you're missing out on benefits, contact the 'Make the call'  phone line and a benefits adviser will provide a full assessment of your entitlement. Go to the link below for contact details:

Help with claiming benefits

Some people need help with claiming benefits because they can’t manage their own affairs. This could be because they’re mentally incapable or are severely disabled. If so, another person - called an appointee - can be given the legal right to act for them.

Find out about becoming an appointee:

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