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What is pension credit?

Pension credit is a benefit the government pays to help people over State Pension age make ends meet.

The charity Independent Age says up to a million people in the UK are missing out on pension credit payments they're entitled to.1

If you’re eligible, the amount you receive will be based on:

  • your income
  • any savings or investments you hold
  • whether you’re single or in a couple

How does pension credit work?

There are 2 types of pension credit:

Guarantee credit

This is a payment that tops up your income to:

  • £201.05 a week for singles
  • £306.85 a week for couples

Savings credit

Savings credit is available to people who reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016 and have some savings. It pays up to:

  • £15.94 a week for singles
  • £17.84 a week for couples (only one of you needs to have reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016)

Who is eligible for pension credit?

To find out if you’re eligible for pension credit and see how much you could receive, you can use the government’s pension credit calculator. Before you start, make sure you have details of:

  • any current earnings
  • any savings and investments

Can you get pension credit if you have savings?

If you’re eligible for pension credit and have less than £10,000 in savings or investments, the amount you receive won’t be affected. 

If you have more than £10,000 in savings or investments, every £500 over this £10,000 counts as an income of £1 a week. So, if you had savings of £12,000 – this would count as £4 income a week.

What else does pension credit entitle you to?

If you receive pension credit, you may be able to claim other benefits such as a free TV Licence and a council tax reduction. 

You can use a benefits calculator on to see what else you may be able to claim. 

How to apply for pension credit

You can apply for pension credit online, over the phone or by post, up to 4 months before you reach State Pension age.

If you’re over State Pension age, you can apply at any time. 

Your application can also be backdated 3 months – so if you were eligible during that time, you could get up to 3 months’ worth of pension credit in your first payment. 

What next?

If you’re able to start claiming pension credit, consider what you want to do with that money. You could look at using a portion of it to build your savings.


Find out more about saving with HSBC.