You could also be eligible for Pension Credit even if you have a pension, savings or own your own home. Even a small award of Pension Credit can provide access to a wide range of other benefits as shown in this short video
Pension Credit and what you might get
Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income if it’s below £173.75 (for single people) or £265.20 (for couples).
Savings Credit is an extra payment for people who saved some money towards their retirement, for example a pension.
You may not be eligible for Savings Credit if you reached State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016.
You don’t pay tax on Pension Credit.
Use the Pension Credit calculator to work out how much you might get.
What you'll get
|Your circumstances||Weekly Guarantee Credit||Weekly Savings Credit|
|Single person||Top up £173.75||Up to £13.97|
|Couple||Top up £265.20||Up to £15.62|
If responsible for a child or young person
You might get more Pension Credit if you are responsible for a child or young person. This is called the child addition.
The child or young person must normally live with you and be under the age of 20.
If they are 16 or over and under 20, they must be in (or accepted for):
- approved training that is not provided through a contract of employment
- a course of non-advanced education (for example, they’re studying for GCSEs or A levels)
If they are in education, it must be for more than 12 hours a week on average.
You cannot get the child addition if you get Tax Credits.
If you get Tax Credits, you could get support for the child or young person through Child Tax Credits.
Contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre if you are not sure whether you are eligible for the child addition.
To qualify for Guarantee Credit:
- you must live in Northern Ireland
- you or your partner must have reached Pension Credit qualifying age
The qualifying age for Pension Credit is gradually going up to 66 in line with the increase in the State Pension age.
To find out the age when you may be able to apply for Pension Credit, you can use the State Pension age calculator at the link below:
Changes to Pension Credit eligibility from 15 May 2019
From 15 May 2019, if you're in a couple you will only be eligible to start getting pension credit if either:
- you and your partner have both reached Pension Credit qualifying age
- one of you has reached Pension Credit qualifying age and is claiming Housing Benefit (for you as a couple)
If you’re not already getting Pension Credit on 14 May 2019, you can backdate your claim. You could still be eligible to get Pension Credit.
You can ask for your claim to be backdated to 14 May or before. You’ll need to apply by 13 August 2019 to do this.
You can apply for Universal Credit instead if you’re still not eligible.
If you're in a couple and get Pension Credit
You’ll continue to get Pension Credit after 15 May 2019. If your entitlement stops for any reason, for example your circumstances change, you cannot start getting it again until you (or your partner) are eligible under the new rules.
If you get Pension Credit and you’re single
From 15 May 2019, you’ll stop getting Pension Credit if you start living with a partner who is under Pension Credit qualifying age. You can start getting it again when your partner reaches Pension Credit qualifying age.
To qualify for the extra Savings Credit you or your partner must be 65 or over.
You’re treated as a couple if you live with your husband, wife or partner. You don’t have to be married or in a civil partnership.
You can still apply for Savings Credit after 6 April 2016 if you reached State Pension age before that date.
Reaching State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016
Most people who reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016 won’t be eligible for Savings Credit.
You may continue to get Savings Credit if both of the following apply:
- you’re in a couple and one of you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016
- you were getting Savings Credit up to 6 April 2016
If you stop being eligible for Savings Credit for any reason from 6 April 2016, you won’t be able to get it again.
When to apply
You can apply up to four months before you reach State Pension age.
You can claim any time after you reach State Pension age, but your claim can only be backdated for three months. This means you can get up to 3 months of Pension Credit in your first payment if you were eligible during that time.
If you want to backdate your claim, you will need details of your income, savings and investments on the date you want your claim to start.
How to apply
For information about how to apply online, downloading an application form, asking for a form and applying by telephone, go to the link below:
How it's paid
'Direct payment' into an account is the Department for Communities' normal way of paying pensions and benefits. It is a safe, convenient and efficient payment method.
Income and benefits
Your income may affect how much Pension Credit you can get. Find out more about how your income may affect Pension Credit, how Pension Credit is paid and how it might affect your other benefits, on the following page:
When claiming Pension Credit you may receive text messages (SMS) from the Department for Communities (DfC). They will always be clearly marked as DfC and will never ask you to give, or click a link to give, personal information or financial details by message or email.
If you’re concerned or unsure about any text messages (SMS) you receive from about Pension Credit you should contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre directly. If you suspect you have received a fraudulent message as a scam, please contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre immediately.
- Further information is available at: scamwiseni
If your circumstances change
Tell the Northern Ireland Pension Centre, Enquiry Line, if your circumstances change, so you continue to get the right amount of Pension Credit.
Changes to Assessed Income Periods (AIPs)
An AIP is a period when you don’t have to report changes to your pensions, savings or investments. Your Pension Credit award letter tells you if you have one. Read about the changes to AIPs from April 2016 below:
Pension Credit if you move abroad
You can't get Pension Credit if you move abroad permanently.
How to appeal
If you're refused Pension Credit or think it's been calculated wrongly, ask the Northern Ireland Pension Centre to take the decision again. If you're still unhappy with the outcome you can appeal to an independent Appeal Tribunal.