Benefits for pensioners

This information applies to England and Wales.

When you reach State Pension age, you could become eligible for benefits and financial support.

If you already claim benefits, turning State Pension age might affect these.

Pensions and disability benefits

Pension Credit

Pension Credit can help with the cost of living. You can apply for Pension Credit if you:

  • are over State Pension age and
  • have a low income

Pension Credit (GOV.UK)

Disability benefits will not affect your eligibility for Pension Credit. These include:

Means-tested benefits (Turn2us)

If you are a couple, you both must be over State Pension age to get Pension Credit. If you or your partner is under State Pension age, you might be able to claim Universal Credit.

Warning Get advice if you’re a mixed age couple

If you or your partner were:

  • State Pension age and
  • received housing benefit on or before 14 May 2019

you could still get Pension Credit.

Types of Pension Credit

Pension Credit has 2 components:

  • Guarantee Credit (includes severe disability additions)
  • Savings Credit

You can claim 1 or both components of Pension Credit. When you apply, you submit 1 form for both components.

Pension Credit: What you’ll get (GOV.UK)

Guarantee Credit

Guarantee Credit is the most common component that people receive. It will top up your pension if it is low.

You will get more money if you apply as a couple. To be eligible, you must both be of State Pension age.

Having savings or a private pension can reduce the amount of Guarantee Credit you receive.

  • The first £10,000 does not count.
  • Every £500 over that amount counts as £1 of weekly income.

There is no upper savings limit for Pension Credit.

What counts as savings

Use the Pension Credit calculator to see if you’re eligible.

Pension Credit Calculator (GOV.UK)

You may also be eligible for additions. You could get an addition if you:

  • are severely disabled (claiming a disability-related benefit at a high rate)
  • care for another adult
  • are responsible for children or young people
  • have housing costs

The additions for Guarantee Credit can depend on what other benefits you claim.

Pension Credit: additions eligibility (GOV.UK)

Savings Credit

If you have retirement savings, you might get Savings Credit. You can only get Savings Credit if you:

  • were State Pension age before 6 April 2016 and
  • saved money for retirement (as part of a personal or workplace pension)

The amount of money you receive depends on whether you have a single or couple claim. If you are:

  • single, you can get up to £15.94 a week.
  • a couple, you’ll get up to £17.84 a week.

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is a benefit for people over State Pension age who have personal care needs. This could be with things like getting dressed, washing yourself or eating.

To be eligible, you need regular support:

  • through the day
  • through the night or
  • all day and all night

Attendance Allowance does not count as income or savings. It does not affect means-tested benefits like Pension Credit.

Attendance Allowance

If you receive Attendance Allowance and someone supports you, they might be eligible for Carer’s Allowance. You do not have to live with them or be related.

Carer’s Allowance

Other benefits

When you turn State Pension age, your benefits can change. For example:

  • existing awards can stop
  • your existing claims are reassessed
  • you become eligible for benefits

This will depend on your circumstances. If you already claim benefits, turning State Pension age might affect these.

Pensions and disability benefits

The process might not be automatic. If you are unsure, contact the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) about a change of circumstances.

Contact DWP about a change of circumstances (GOV.UK)

Support with bills at State Pension age

You might get support to pay your bills. This includes:

  • Council Tax support
  • Cold Weather Payment
  • Warm Home Discount

You will have to apply for these.

Help with gas and electricity bills

You may be eligible for extra payments to help with living costs if you get certain benefits or tax credits.

If you're eligible, you do not need to apply.

Cost of Living Payments

Council Tax Reduction

If you have a low income or claim benefits, you could receive a reduction on your Council Tax. This is also called Council Tax Support.

The amount of support will depend on your circumstances.

Council Tax Reduction

Cold Weather Payment

If you receive other benefits, you may get a Cold Weather Payment. This happens if the average temperature in your area is 0 degrees Celsius or below (sometimes called below freezing) for 7 days in a row.

Cold Weather Payments

Warm Home Discount

Warm Home Discount takes money off your electricity bill between September and March. The discount does not affect your Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payment.

Warm Home Discount Scheme

Discounts for over 60s and State Pension age

If you are 60 or over, you could get discounts on:

  • NHS costs
  • transport
  • house repairs
  • TV Licence
  • days out (concessionary tickets)
  • heating costs (loft and wall insulation grant)

Some discounts might also require you to receive benefits or have a low income.

Help with NHS costs

If you are State Pension age or receive benefits, you might get help with NHS costs, such as:

  • prescriptions
  • dental treatment
  • glasses
  • transport costs for hospital appointments

Check what help you could get to pay for NHS costs (NHSBSA service)

Free NHS dental treatment

Help with transport costs

At State Pension age, you can get free or discounted travel.

Discounted travel

If you live in England, you can get an older person’s bus pass for free travel when you reach State Pension age.

If you live in Wales, you can get the bus pass when you are 60 or over.

Apply for an older person's bus pass (GOV.UK)

A Senior Railcard gives you a third off your train fare. You can buy this when you are 60 or over.

Apply for a Senior Railcard

Discounted home repairs

Age UK has a handyperson service that can help you for free or a discounted fee. They can help with:

  • small repairs
  • safety measures
  • home security
  • energy efficiency checks

To use the service, you must:

  • be over 60
  • have less than £20,000 in savings
  • have a low income

Handyperson scheme (Age UK)

Free or discounted TV Licence

You can get a free TV Licence if you:

  • are over 75 and
  • receive Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit or Savings Credit)

Check if you can get a free over 75 TV Licence (TV Licensing)

If you are registered severely sight impaired (blind), you can get a discounted TV Licence.

Apply for a blind concession TV Licence (TV Licensing)

Concessionary tickets

A concessionary ticket allows you to buy a ticket for a discounted price. Each company will have their own criteria and discounts, but it’s normally for disabled people or if you’re over 60. For example, you could get a concessionary ticket when you go:

  • to the cinema
  • to the theatre
  • on a day out

Disability discounts for days out

Loft and wall insulation grant

You might be able to get a grant for free insulation if you’re over 60 and have a low income. This could include insulation in your:

  • loft
  • cavity walls
  • external walls

These grants are part of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) to reduce heating costs.

Energy Company Obligation (ECO) to reduce home heating costs (Ofgem)

Last reviewed by Scope on: 12/10/2023

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