Disappointment for pensioners as Sunak fails to boost pension benefits in Spring Statement

Therese Coffey outlines the benefits of Pension Credit scheme

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The Spring Statement speech was without any mention of changes to the plans for Pension Credit, despite many pensioners grappling with a cost of living crisis. Pension Credit will rise in line with the September 2021 CPI figure of 3.1 percent next month.

Some had hoped the Chancellor would announce an additional increase to the state pension in his Spring Statement due to the current financial landscape facing pensioners, but this did not happen.

However, if the state pension triple lock policy had not been suspended for the 2022/23 tax year, the state pension could have risen by more than eight percent.

Pension Credit is a benefit paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to pensioners on lower incomes.

It is paid at two rates depending on how much support someone requires.

Guarantee Credit provides the highest level of support, and currently tops up pensioners’ income up to a maximum of:

  • £177.10 for single pensioners
  • £270.30 for couples

From April, the rates will increase and pensioners can see their income topped up to:

  • £182.60 if they are single
  • £278.70 if they are in a couple

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The other element of Pension Credit is Savings Credit, which provides a lower amount to people who have more income.

It can only be claimed by people who reached state pension age before April 6, 2016.

Savings Credit recipients could currently get up to the following amounts:

  • £14.04 a week if they are single
  • £15.71 a week if they are in a couple

When the rates rise next month, claimants could get up to:

  • £14.48 for single pensioners
  • £16.20 for couples

By claiming Pension Credit, pensioners could also automatically entitle themselves to various other benefits

These include a free TV licence when they turn 75 and Council Tax Reduction.

They could also get help with their heating costs.

Pensioners can apply for Pension Credit through the Government website, by phone or by post.

They will have their income assessed when applying to determine their eligibility and how much they may be able to get.

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