If you’re over 50, or about to get there, your financial situation may be changing as you’re looking to retire. We’ve compiled a guide to help manage your new financial situation and make the most of your pension.
The most important question when you retire are where is your cash going to come from?
The’ official’ retirement age gradually increases over the years, and as of 2020, the official retirement age of Men and Women is 66.
State pension is dependent on if you have enough full years of National Insurance contributions. The state pension system is complex, so to help you understand here’s what pension you ‘should’ be on:
if you reached state pension age on or after 6 April 2016, you’ll be on the new state pension, which is a ‘flat rate’ of £179.60 plus any ‘protected payments’.
If you reached state pension age before 6 April 2016, you’ll stay on the old scheme, which currently has a maximum basic state payout of £137.60 a week (plus more if you earned the Second State pension too).
On top of state pension, pension credit is an extra payment to help top up your income, if you qualify.
To qualify for pension credit, you must be of qualify age, 66 for both men and women, and your income is under £177.10 a week or £270 for couples.
Pension credit is aimed at people with low incomes, but it’s always worth finding out if you’re eligible by calling. To find out if you’re eligible for pension credit you can call the free phone number: 0800 999 1234, or if you would like help applying, contact one of our friendly community workers who will be happy to help you with the application.
Attendance allowance helps with extra costs if you have a disability severe enough that you need someone to help look after you. It’s paid at two different rates depending on the level of care that you need, you could get £60 or £89.60 a week to help with personal support if you’re both:
- physically or mentally disabled
- State Pension age or older
To apply you can use the attendance allowance claim to apply via post-https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/attendance-allowance-claim-form, if you would like to have additional help with the application, please contact one of our Community Workers who will happily help you complete the application form.
Around 3.5 billion in benefits go unclaimed by pensioners every year.According to Age uk
In addition to pension credit and attendance allowance, you may be eligible for additional benefits. Do this quick benefit check to find out if you qualify for extra help; https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/family/benefits-check/
If you’d like more information and advice on what you could be entitled to, call the Age UK Advice Line on 0800 678 1174.
In addition, there may be a chance you could be overpaying for council tax, so It’s also well worth checking out Council Tax Rebanding to make sure you aren’t paying over the odds.
Energy Savings and Grants
Energy bills will be rising come April 2022 with the increase of the energy price cap, so now’s the time to get a head start with saving on your energy bills by looking at what energy grants and savings you qualify for.
The UK government have a range of helpful grants and discounts available for pensioners such as:
Warm Homes Discount
Applications for this discount open in September. The Warm Homes discount may be able to get you £140 off of your electric bill of a £140 voucher for your prepayment meter.
You can qualify to get the warm homes discount if you’re either:
- Getting the guaranteed credit part of pension credit
- On a low income
Find out if you’re eligible on the UK govt website or feel free to give one of our community workers a call 01656 747 622
Winter Fuel Payments
The winter fuel payment is an annual one-off payment to help you heat your home during the winter. You can usually qualify for the winter fuel payment if you were born on or before 26 September 1955. Check how to apply for winter fuel payments here: https://www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment
Energy Efficiency Improvement Grants
Millions is available in grants for hoe improvements, yet sadly many UK grants go unclaimed. The following grants can help boost your homes energy efficiency whilst also helping save you money on your energy bill:
- Nest: A Welsh Government scheme offering range of free, impartial advice and also free energy efficiency improvements such as boiler replacements, central heating, or insulation. Head to the HHHP page to see how our community workers can help you access Nest.
- ECO Funding: A Welsh government’s energy efficiency scheme to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty. There is a range of energy-efficient improvements available such as loft insulation, cavity insulation, and central heating. Find out if you qualify here.
If you’re living alone or there are only two people in your household, you may find you can save money by getting onto a water meter. A water meter means you are only paying for the water you use, which could mean significant savings for your household. If you’re considering changing to a water meter, you should contact your water company. You could do this by phone, or you may be able to apply on their website. Additionally, if you’d like help applying to be on a water meter, give one of our Community Workers a call.
What to do if you’re worried about paying you energy bills:
The energy price cap increase will be affecting everyone, and many will be under the stress of affording their energy bills. Your energy supplier can help if you are having difficulty with affording your gas and electric bills.
Contact your supplier as soon as you’re worried about paying your energy bills, suppliers must work with you to agree on a payment plan you can afford under Ofgem Rules. Head to the Ofgem website to find out more information on what to do.
There is additional help available to pensioners that could benefit you. Our healthy homes, healthy people community workers are on hand 5 days a week from 9 am- 5 pm to help with any additional needs you may have.
Priority Service Register
The Priority Service Register is a free and voluntary service that your energy supplier uses to ensure the correct support is given to its most vulnerable customers,
The system is designed by Ofgem to better ensure that individuals with special requirements have access to additional support from their energy supplier. Support can vary from supplier and individual circumstances but can include: Advanced notice of service interruptions, priority service in power cuts, and quarterly meter readings.
Eligibility of PSR includes:
- You need to be supported in a particular way
- You would struggle to maintain your well-being if you lost your energy supply for any amount of time
- You’re of pensionable age
- You are disabled
- You have hearing or visual impairment or other communication needs
Home Safety Adaptations
Around 1 in 3 adults over 65 and over half of people over 80 will have at least one fall a year, our Community Workers can also help in accessing free home adaptations such as grab rails and stair lifts to help prevent falls
Warm Wales can help you access additional safety measures such as carbon monoxide awareness, smoke alarms, and locking cooker valves to prevent avoidable healthy risks.
Locking cooker valves is a simple safety device to help vulnerable householders retain their independence and provide reassurance to family, friends, and carers, ensuring that the cooker can’t be unintentionally turned on.
If you or someone you know s struggling to afford their energy bills or would like to talk to one of our Community Workers about what options are available, please contact us!