Published On: Thu, May 16th, 2019

Martin Lewis Money Saving Expert: URGENT state pension claims warning


Martin Lewis is a financial journalist who often appears on British TV screens to give sage advice to ITV viewers.

Today he appeared on Good Morning Britain to make a warning about the state pension.

Speaking to presenters today he reiterated warnings about changed to state pension credit, which have made headlines in recent months.

Martin said: “Pension credit is a means-tested benefit aimed at supporting retired people on low incomes and can be worth thousands of pounds a year – yet a staggering 1.3m don’t claim it.

“To qualify, you must live in England, Scotland or Wales, and have reached state pension age.”

The benefit offers a weekly top-up to your income, if it is less than £167.25 as a single pensioner or joint weekly income is less than £255.25 as a couple. 

Or for some if you earn more than £144.38 a week if you’re single, or £229.67 as a couple, and have some retirement savings your income may be topped up too (so that you still get some gain from the fact you’ve saved). 

If you think you’re owed just call the pension credit claim line on 0800 99 1234.

Yet right now there is a urgent deadline for some couples (married, civil partners, or living together as a couple), where one partner is over the state pension age and the other isn’t, for example a 62 year old and a 69 year old in a couple.

Martin said: “The deadline was this Wednesday 15 May, but you can still backdate a claim for three months, so in practice there’s time.

“The issue is that if you do it now you get pension credit, if you do it and don’t make the deadline you get universal credit – and in every case that pays less, in fact some may lose out on up to £7,000/year. 

“The quickest way to claim is to call the Pension Service on 0800 99 1234 and it will fill in the application form for you and remember you want to try to claim for pension credit under the backdating not universal credit.”

Martin also gave pertinent ISA advice. He revealed there is a new top 1.5 per cent cash ISA.

Martin told presenters: “Until April 2016, my constant refrain was ‘your money is nisa in a cash ISA’ – as a cash ISA is just a savings account you can (now) put £20,000 a year in, and the interest is tax-free.

“But then the personal savings allowance (PSA) launched, which means basic 20 per cent rate tax payers can earn £1,000 in interest a year without paying tax on it (equivalent to interest on £67,000 in the top easy access rate) and higher 40 per cent rate tax payers can earn £500/year tax-free (roughly £33,500 saved).

“So 95 per cent of people no longer pay tax on savings interest anyway, and as the top cash ISAs started paying significantly less than the equivalent normal savings, that meant most people shouldn’t bother with them.

“But now, Coventry BS has launched a new cash ISA paying 1.5 per cent, just pipping Skipton BS at 1.48 per cent. As they’re easy access, you can withdraw when you want, and they’re flexible, so if you do withdraw, you can return the money in the same tax year with no impact on your £20,000 ISA allowance. 

“Yet unless you pay tax on savings, don’t stick with Coventry BS if the rate drops. Like all easy-access accounts, it’s variable rate, so the rate may drop in future. If it does or normal savings get significantly better, you can just take your money and move it elsewhere.

“If you’re a potential first-time buyer though it’s far better to get either a Lifetime ISA or Help to Buy ISA as you get a 25 per cent boost to your savings. There are free guides online to help you decide which is best for you.”

Martin Lewis loans advice was also issued to ITV viewers earlier this week. 

He said loan rates are near the all-time cheapest but also shared just how costly getting it wrong can be.

He also explained where people can get tripped up when taking out a loan and what they must known before applying for one.



Source link

Most Popular News

Martin Lewis Money Saving Expert: URGENT state pension claims warning