State Pension is a sum of money offered to those who meet certain criteria by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The DWP is responsible for ensuring all pensioners receive the correct amount and at the right time. To qualify to receive a State Pension sum, a person must have a certain number of National Insurance contributions across their working lifetime.
The way the system works means the more NI contributions a person has, the more likely they are to receive the full State Pension amount.
For the new State Pension scheme, this stands at £175.20 per week.
However, many people who have reached State Pension age could be missing out on extra cash – by failing to claim Pension Credit.
In fact, the latest annual DWP take-up figures have revealed over a million pensioner households are missing out, despite being entitled to receive the extra sum.
This payment is additional, available to those who have put money aside for retirement.
Savings Credit in the 2020/21 tax year has increased, meaning single people will receive £13.96, and up to £15.62 if in a couple.
As a result, single people can receive a maximum of £726.44 per year, and couples up to £812.24 per year.
It is, however, worth noting that those who reached state pension age on or after April 6, 2016, may not be eligible for Savings Credit.
To use the service, people will need details of:
- earnings, benefits and pensions
- savings and investments
- any details on earnings, benefits, pensions, savings and investments for their partner, if they have one
However, the calculator cannot be used by certain groups who will have to approach their entitlement in different ways.
Those who are deferring the State Pension, who are self-employed, who own more than one property, or who have housing costs which are neither mortgage repayments nor rent covered by Housing Benefit will have to call the Pension Credit claim line.
Many people are said to be reluctant to claim Pension Credit either due to the stigma of receiving a benefit, or due to a lack of awareness of entitlement.
Pension Credit is means-tested, however, many more could be entitled than they originally believe, and are encouraged to check.