BENEFITS EXPERT: Changes in Savings Credit

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I have heard that there are to be changes to Savings Credit round about now. Can you tell me what they are to be?

There are two kinds of Pension Credit. There is Guarantee Pension Credit which is paid to people who have reached women’s pension age. This brings a person’s income up to a level set by Parliament.

Then there is Savings Credit which pays extra to people over 65 who have made some savings towards their retirement (e.g. a personal pension or capital). Savings Credit may be paid in addition to Guarantee Pension Credit or on its own. However, Savings Credit will not now be payable to people who reach pension age on or after April 6, 2016.

When a person is on Savings Credit there is a period during which they do not have to report certain changes in their circumstances, such as increases in their savings. That period normally lasts for five years but lasts for an indefinite period in certain circumstances.

Also people whose periods are due to end between April 2019 and April 2021 will have those dates brought forward.

People will be written to explaining how they will be affected or you can phone the Pension Credit Helpline on 0800 991234.

I have contacted the council asking how I can qualify for Council Tax Benefit. They told me I had to be on full Pension Credit, yet you did not mention this in your recent item about Council Tax. Have the Council given me false information? I receive Pension Credit (Savings) of £60.49 a month.

I was sorry to hear that your council told you that you had to be on ‘full Pension Credit’ to qualify for Council Tax Benefit. I do not understand what they mean by ‘full Pension Credit’.

People qualify for ‘maximum help with Council Tax’ if they receive certain means-tested benefits, including Guarantee Pension Credit. People may also qualify for less than the maximum if their income is below the level where they can qualify for maximum benefit. What this level is depends upon their circumstances.

I am afraid I do not know how your Pension Credit has been calculated but if you send me more detail I will try and help you further.

I was told today that, because my husband and I both receive low rate disability and mobility we are each entitled to £75 a week. Is this right? I do not know what the benefit is called.

I think the benefit your informant has in mind is a Carer’s Allowance or Carer’s Addition. But these are only payable to people who care for those on high rate benefit for disability.