MILLIONS of Brits will be given a payment boost this month, but there are also nine freebies and bonuses available too.
Pensioners have access to a variety of free cash, discounts and other free stuff through government and company schemes.
The state pension is a weekly payment from the government to men and women aged over 66 at the moment.
The age when receipt begins is due to rise to 67 by 2028 and 68 between 2037 and 2039.
It's intended to give anyone a retirement income to support them as they get older.
As of Monday, April 10 the full state pension you can get is £204 a week, and £10,608 in total over a year.
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That's because payments went up by 10.1% in line with Septemer's inflation rate.
You can spend the money as you wish, but it is treated as income so you may have to pay tax on it if all your earnings are above the annual personal tax allowance, currently £12,570.
But, there's even more help available for people who get the payment, from discounts to free cash.
We've put together a list of the nine freebies and discounts you could get with your state pension.
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National Insurance cut – over £2,000
When you've reached state pension age, you no longer pay National Insurance (NI), even if you're still working.
This can mean a pretty big cut to your annual tax bill.
The threshold for NI payments is currently £12,570 a year for employed workers and £6,725 for self-employed people.
If you earned £30,000 a year you would've saved £2,398.59 in the 2022/23 tax year, according to Which?.
NI only applies to employment income – so if you retire before state pension age, and you only earn an income from pensions, you won't have to pay it.
Discounted rail fare – £76
Pensioners with a Senior Railcard can get discounted rail fares.
People with a Senior Railcard save on average £76 per year, or £5.34 per journey, according to National Rail.
There is an annual cost of £30 for the card and gets you 1/3 off train travel.
The Senior Railcard is available to travellers aged 60 or over.
You can apply for the card on the National Rail website.
Pension Credit – £3,500
Pension Credit sees cash-tight retirees get help towards their food and energy bills.
Pension Credit has risen to £201.05 this April, and for couples, it is now £306.85.
The average pension credit award is worth over £3,500 a year.
To qualify, you'll need to have a weekly income of less than £182.60 for single people or £278.70 for couples.
You'll also need to be over the state pension age.
There are two parts to the benefit and pensioners can be eligible for one or both parts:
- Guarantee credit – tops up your weekly income to a guaranteed minimum level.
- Savings credit – provides extra money if you've saved money towards retirement.
If your income is too high to get Pension Credit, you may still get some savings, so it's worth checking.
Applications for Pension Credit can be made on the government website or by ringing the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234.
Cost of living payment – £301
Those on Pension Credit will be eligible for the new cost of living payment being rolled out by the government from this month.
The first instalment of the £900 cash is a £301 payment which will be made directly to bank accounts from April 25 to May 17.
You're eligible for the money if you were entitled to a payment (or later found to be entitled to a payment) of Pension Credit for any day in the period January 26, 2023, to February 25, 2023.
There's no need to apply for the help – instead, the DWP will be in touch.
For those receiving the £301 payment from the DWP, it will show in your bank account as "DWP COLP" along with your National Insurance (NI) number.
For example, if your NI number is JT 83 42 97B your payment will show up as "DWP COLP JT 83 42 97B" on your statement.
The £301 payment is the first out of three that will be made – the remaining two, worth £300 and £299 will be made this autumn and in spring 2024 respectively.
Free NHS dental treatment
People who receive the pension guarantee credit can be eligible for free dental treatment too.
But you'll need to have signed up for Pension Credit in order to get it.
Council Tax discount – up to £2,065
The average Band D council tax set by local authorities in England for 2023-24 will be £2,065, according to the government.
If you're on Pension Credit you can apply for a discount or reduction of up to 100% on your council tax bill.
If you receive the guarantee credit part of Pension Credit you may even get your Council Tax paid in full.
If you don’t get guarantee credit but you have a low income and less than £16,000 in savings, you may still get some help.
As local councils run their own Council Tax Support schemes, how you make a claim might differ depending on where you live.
But wherever you live, the first thing you'll need to do when making a claim is to contact your local council.
Free TV Licence – £159
One of the perks of being on Pension Credit is that you don't have to pay for your TV licence.
You can apply for a free TV Licence if you, as the licence holder, are 75 years or older and you, or your partner living at the same address, get the benefit.
A TV licence ordinarily costs £159 a year, so this is a big saving.
Discounted days out and cinema tickets – £20
People aged over 60 can get discounted days out and cinema tickets.
If you're an existing National Trust member aged 60 or over, and you've been a member for at least the last three years, you can ask for 25% off your subscription.
This means that you’ll pay £57.60 for individual senior membership instead of £76.80 and £95.40 for joint senior membership instead of £127.20.
Empire has special Senior screenings for over-60s every Wednesday morning and tickets cost £3.75.
Odeon also holds weekly Silver Cinema screenings for over-60s with ticket prices starting at £3.50.
Both cinemas also provide free refreshments too.
You can find your nearest branches using the locator tool on the website.
Free bus pass
In England, you can get a bus pass for free travel when you reach the State Pension age.
Plus, if you live in London, you can travel free on buses, tubes and other transport when you’re 60, but only within London.
In Wales, you can get a bus pass when you reach 60.
You get an older person’s bus pass when you’re 60 if you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland.
You can apply for the pass via your local council's website which will have more information.
Make sure to check the website or phone your local council if you have any questions.
How much you save will depend on how much you use the pass.
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Meanwhile, more than 150,000 grandparents could be missing out on a hefty pension boost.
The state pension isn't the only payment that went up on Monday, those on Universal Credit and other benefits will also see increases.
Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
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