Pension Credit for mixed-age couples is changing from 15 May 2019. If you or your partner are 65 or over, check whether you’re entitled to Pension Credit now. Otherwise you could miss out on extra income. Use our benefits calculator to work out whether you qualify and how much you could get.

What is Pension Credit?

If your income is low, Pension Credit might give you extra money to top it up. If you qualify, it can also bring extra benefits including help with NHS dental costs and free sight tests. Read our Pension Credit information for more on what it is, who qualifies, and what you could get.

What’s changing?

The changes are to the rules for couples where one partner is under State Pension age and the other has reached it. You can check your State Pension age at

At the moment, if you or your partner have reached State Pension age, you can qualify for Pension Credit as a couple. The age of the oldest partner is what counts.

From 15 May 2019, the rules will change. You’ll only be able make a new claim for Pension Credit if:

  • both of you have reached State Pension age, or
  • one of you has reached State Pension age and is claiming Housing Benefit for you as a couple.

If you’re not already getting Pension Credit on 14 May 2019, but qualified for it before that, you can backdate your claim. You could still be eligible to get Pension Credit. If you’re making a new claim, you can ask for it to be backdated to 14 May or before, but you must apply by 13 August 2019.

What happens if we’re already getting Pension Credit?

If you already get Pension Credit, your payments will continue. However, if your entitlement to either Pension Credit or Housing Benefit stops for any reason, because of a change in circumstances, you won’t start getting Pension Credit again unless you both qualify under the new rules.

Why should I claim now?

If you’re not eligible because one of you is under Pension Credit qualifying age, you may be able to get Universal Credit instead. However, Pension Credit rates are much more generous than Universal Credit rates. For example, in the 2018/19 financial year, the standard rate of Pension Credit for a couple was £248.80 a week (£1078.13 a month). For Universal Credit, the rate for a couple over 25 was £498.89 a month.

Around 1.3 million people who are eligible for Pension Credit aren’t claiming it, so check whether you’re entitled using our benefits calculator.



Related publications

Share this article

Print this page

Print this page