URGENT NEWS: Some Pensioners Are Set To Lose Payments Of Up To £70 Per Week From April

Some Pensioners set to lose payments of up to £70 a week from April, when the Government cuts extra payments for 'adult dependants'.

Some pensioners receiving state pension may be receiving an adult dependency increase (ADI). This is a payment of up to £70 per week on top of the usual state pension, for a partner who is financially dependent on you.

Although these extra payments closed to new applicants in 2010, those who were already receiving the increase were able to carry on claiming it.
From 6 April 2020, all these payments will stop, regardless of when you started claiming.
For someone claiming the maximum payment, this would mean an annual drop in income of £3,640. But you may be able to apply for pension credit or universal credit to make up for this loss see below for more info.

What is the adult dependency increase?

The adult dependency increase is a weekly payment which is added to the recipient's basic state pension.
Its purpose is to provide for another adult who is financially dependent on you – such as a partner who doesn't receive their own state pension.
How much the payments are worth depends on which category of the old state pension you have (those receiving the new state pension won't have been eligible, as applications for the payments were closed in 2010):

  • £70 per week for those with category A old state pensions, which are based on your national insurance contributions.
  • £41.90 per week for those with category C old state pensions, which are for those aged 80 and over and aren't based on contributions.

I'm set to lose my adult dependency payment – what can I do?

All payments for the ADI will stop from 6 April 2020.
But while no one will be eligible to carry on receiving it, you may be able to receive other Government help to supplement your state pension.
The Department for Work and Pensions says that if you're already receiving a means-tested benefit such as pension credit or universal credit, this will increase to offset the loss of your ADI – so your income should stay the same overall.
If not, you should check if you'll be eligible to receive pension credit after your ADI stops. This will top up your state pension if you meet certain criteria.

There are two elements to pension credit:

  • Guarantee credit tops up your weekly income if it's less than £167.25, or £255.25 for couples.
  • Savings credit is an extra payment for those who have some money saved towards their retirement. It's worth up to £13.73 per week for a single person, or £15.35 for couples. You'll need a minimum income of £144.38, or £229.67 for couples.

See our guide for more info on how to claim.

If you're in a mixed-age couple, where one partner is below state pension age and one partner is above, you won't be able to apply for pension credit. If this applies to you, you may be able to apply for universal credit instead. Our Universal Credit page explains more.

Pension Credit

What is Pension Credit?

There are two types of pension credit, Guarantee Pension Credit and Savings Pension Credit.

Guarantee Pension Credit

Guarantee Pension Credit tops up your weekly income to a guaranteed minimum level. The 2019/20 rates are:

  • £167.25 for a single person
  • £255.25 for a couple.

There are other elements that can be added dependant upon your circumstances:

  • £65.85 if you suffer from a severe disability
  • £36.85 if you are a carer

The amount you receive will depend upon any savings that you may have.

Savings Credit

Savings Credit is extra money if you have savings or your income is higher than the basic State Pension. It is only available to people who reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016.

For 2019/20, you could get up to:

  • £13.73 extra per week for a single person
  • £15.35 for a couple.

What is Pension Credit Age?

Pension Credit age is due to gradually increase and will reach 66 by September 2020. Visit gov.uk to calculate when you will reach the qualifying age by using their State Pension calculator.

How Can Pension Credit Help Me?

Pension Credit can help you in a variety of ways. If you are in receipt of Pension Credit:

  • It is unlikely that you will have to pay any council tax
  • You will get a cold weather payment of £25.00 when the temperature is zero degrees or below for 7 consecutive days
  • You will get free NHS dental treatment, help with paying for glasses and with hospital travel.

What if my Partner is Pension Credit Age and I Am Not?

If you are a couple and one of you has reached Pension Credit age, you can make a claim for Pension Credit. However, from 15 May 2019 mixed age couples will have to claim Universal Credit.

Where a new claim for Pension Credit would have been made, claimants will be directed to claim Universal Credit. Only the partner of working age will be subject to the work commitment requirements. Mixed age couples where one partner is of working age and who already claim Pension Credit will not be affected.

How Do I Make A Claim?

To claim Pension Credit you can call the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234 and they will complete a form for you over the phone. It would be helpful if you have the following information ready for the advisor:

  • National Insurance number
  • Bank account details
  • Information about your income, savings and investments
  • Information about your pension (if you have one)
  • Partner’s details (if you have a partner)

If you require assistance to make a claim please contact our welfare team on 0300 304 5000 or via email welfare@estuary.co.uk

For more information about Pension Credits, please visit the gov.uk website.