Changes to pension credit for mixed age couples – don’t miss out

The Government has announced that from Monday 15 May, mixed aged couples will no longer be able to apply for pension credit.
Pension credit provides a guaranteed minimum income to people over the state pension age, which is currently 65 for both men and women. At the moment people aged over 65 living as a couple can claim pension credit regardless of their partner’s age. However, the new rule means that those who live with a younger partner will only be able to make a new claim for pension credit once both of them are of retirement age. 


After 15 May, pensioners with younger partners who haven’t yet reached pension age will need to apply for Universal Credit instead. Universal Credit is not as generous as Pension Credit as there are no extra elements for being a pensioner, and you can’t claim separate Housing Benefit. On Universal Credit you’ll also be subject to the Benefit cap and Bedroom Tax.


Mark Adkins, a Money Matters Adviser at Hastoe, recently helped a couple aged 66 and 56 to claim pension credit before the changes come into effect – potentially saving them thousands of pounds. Under the new rule from 15 May, they would have had to wait over 11 years for the wife to reach pensionable age before they could both claim pension credit.


If you’re part of a mixed aged couple where one of you is of pension age and you’re not currently claiming pension credit, make sure to apply as soon as possible. Missing the deadline could mean you have to wait years until you’re both eligible, causing you to lose out on up to £7,000 worth of pension credit per year.


To find out if you’re eligible and for help making your application, contact our Money Matters Advisors Lisane Warwick or Mark Adkins on 0300 123 2250. Alternatively, you can call Pension Credit directly on 0800 99 1234, speak to Age UK or your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

Please note, if you already claim pension credit you won't be affected by the change (even if your partner hasn't yet reached the state pension age) and will carry on receiving it for as long as you're eligible.


Similarly, if you’re single and of pensionable age you’ll still able to continue receiving or make a new claim for pension credit, unless you start living with a young partner. You’ll be able to eligible to receive it again once they reach the qualifying age.


Find out more about pension credit and the new rule for mixed age couples.
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