Thousands of pensioners could be missing out on free TV licence | Personal Finance | Finance

Some 850,000 pensioner households are thought to be missing out on Pension Credit, many of whom could also claim a free TV licence through the benefit.

Pension Credit tops up the income of people of state pension age. The benefit is a gateway to several other means of support, including a free TV licence for claimants aged 75 and over, providing a saving of £159.

Claimants get a top up to their weekly income, up to £201.05 a week for single people and up to £306.85 a week for couples.

A person can file a claim up to four months before they reach state pension age, which is currently 66 for both men and women.

An eligible claimant can apply for their free TV licence through the TV licensing website or by calling 0300 790 6117.

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Other support available to Pension Credit claimants includes:

  • Housing Benefit if a claimant rents the property they live in
  • Support for Mortgage Interest if they own the property they live in
  • Cost of living payments
  • A Council Tax discount
  • Help with NHS dental treatment, glasses and transport costs for hospital appointments, if they get a certain type of Pension Credit
  • Help with your heating costs through the Warm Home Discount Scheme
  • A discount on the Royal Mail redirection service if they are moving house.

Pension Credit is paid in two parts, with the Guarantee Credit which refers to the weekly top up of the claimant’s income, as explained above.

There is also a Savings Credit payment for those who have saved up money for their retirement.

The current rates for this are £15.94 a week for single claimants and £17.84 a week for couples.

An individual typically needs 30 years of National Insurance contributions to get the basic state pension and 35 years of contributions to get the full new state pension.

The full basic state pension is currently £156.20 a week while the full new state pension is £203.85 a week.

A person can find out how much state pension they are on track to receive using the state pension forecast tool on the Government website.

The state pension age is set to increase over the coming years. It will increase gradually increase from 66 to 67 between 2026 and 2026 and from 67 to 68 between 2044 and 2046.

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