Why can't we receive pension credit savings?

27 March 2013

Q

My husband and I are both retired. I am 64 and my husband is 65. For four months of 2012 we were given Pension Credit Guarantee, allowing us rebated council tax. This stopped in August when my husband reached 65.Prior to this, we had not been able to get any help because we had more than £16,000 in savings. Then, all of a sudden, we were entitled to Pension Credit, though we still had more than £16,000 in savings.I don't understand why this was the case. Now that our Pension Credit Guarantee has stopped, I keep reading about Pension Credit Savings for people who have saved for their retirement. Surely this is what we have done – saved. We collect a joint pension of £226 per week.Is this why we are not entitled to Pension Credit Savings? Who does qualify?
From
ER, Wolverhampton

A

The Pension Guarantee Credit provides a guarantee of a minimum level of weekly income for single people (£142.70) and couples (£217.90). Now your husband is receiving his state pension, it looks like you've probably gone over the threshold that would entitle you to receive Pension Guarantee Credit.

Additionally, if you have savings or investments of more than £10,000, this affects how much Pension Credit you can receive.

However, while Pension Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit are two different benefits calculated separately, you may still be entitled to receive either Pension Guarantee Credit, Savings Credit or possibly even both.

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To establish this, you will need to calculate your own and your husband's "appropriate amount" of income.

This will depend on the standard amount but may also include some or all of the following extra amounts: for severe disability; for carers; for housing costs; for some people who were getting Income Support or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance before they started to receive Pension Credit.

I suggest you speak to the Pension Service by calling 08456 060 265. It will assess what you might be entitled to and help you make a claim.