Health benefits in retirement
As we get older, some of our outgoings naturally reduce. But, over time, they’ll be replaced by other expenses, ones linked to older age and the inevitable decline in health that comes with it. Fortunately, there are some health benefits you can get to offset some of these expenses.
What kind of health-related benefits could I get?
Many people have to live off a set income in retirement. So it’s good to know there’s help available with certain health related costs. These include:
- Free prescriptions (once you turn 60)
- Free eye tests (once you turn 60)
- A voucher towards the cost of glasses or contact lenses (If you get Guarantee Credit)
- Help with travel costs to receive NHS treatment (If you get Guarantee Credit)
- Help with costs for NHS wigs and fabric supports (If you get Guarantee Credit)
What is Guarantee Credit?
Guarantee Credit is one of the two parts that make up the income-related benefit, Pension Credit. The other is Savings Credit. You may be eligible for one or both.
For single people, Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income if it’s below £159.35. For couples, this applies if your weekly income is below £243.25.
Savings Credit is an extra payment for people who saved some money towards their retirement, such as through a pension. If you qualify, you can get up to £13.20 extra per week if you’re single, or £14.90 for couples.
Are there any other discounts available?
Well, if you're over 65 now then you also qualify for a free flu jab each year. While you’re at the surgery, it’s also worth asking your GP or nurse if there are any local discounts on health-related services available to you. The NHS website also offers general information about health-related benefits for older people.
What if I’m on a low income?
There is also support for those people that are on low incomes and have little or no savings. You can apply for help towards the costs of a range of health expenses, and it's easy to apply. Simply pick up a form from any optician, dentist, GP or local hospital.
And if you think you will be struggling to pay dentists or opticians’ bills when you retire, then it’s definitely time to think about boosting your pension savings now.