Changes to Pension Credit next month

by Readers Question

8:13 AM, 17th April 2019
About 5 months ago

Changes to Pension Credit next month

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Changes to Pension Credit next month

I have just came across the following information which I had not heard about previously which may impact some P118 members. This news was released at 7.20pm on the eve of the Brexit vote and could “cost” some pensioners up to £7,000 pa in lost pension credit.

In short: Couples where one is over the state pension age, currently 65 for both men and women, and one is not, will no longer get the benefit. It will take effect from 15 May 2019 when relevant new claims are opened nationwide for six-in-one benefit Universal Credit.

“Under the proposed rules, couples where one partner is over pension age and is not expected to seek work will get the same rate as a couple where both partners are under pension age and both are expected to seek work”.

Under the new rules, pension age partners will be forced to claim working-age benefits alongside their younger partners.

>> https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2019/01/pensioners-with-younger-partners-won-t-be-able-to-claim-pension-/

Fortunately we are not affected by it, and I’m not sure it’s a bad idea in principle, but I find it hard to believe that someone who was expecting to claim pension credit from 16th May this year was given only 4 month’s notice that they will no longer be entitled to receive it if their partner is below state pension age.

According to Age UK this change could mean couples are financially better off if they split up!

Heather

>> https://www.gov.uk/government/news/changes-to-benefits-for-mixed-age-couples

Changes to benefits for mixed age couples

The government announced today changes to benefits for mixed age couples that will be introduced from 15 May 2019.

When single people reach State Pension age, they move from working age benefits to pension age benefits.

Currently, couples can choose to make that transition when the older partner of the couple reaches State Pension age.

In 2012, Parliament voted to modernise the system and change the rule for couples so that the transition takes place when the younger partner reaches State Pension age. This will ensure the younger partner is in the same circumstances as other people of the same age, regardless of the age of their partner.

The government announced today that the change will be introduced from 15 May 2019.

Mixed age couples with a partner under State Pension age already in receipt of Pension Credit or pension-age Housing Benefit at the point of change will be unaffected while they remain entitled to either benefit.

If a mixed age couple claim working age benefits, the pensioner partner will not be subject to work-based conditionality. Any work-based conditionality for the younger partner will be tailored to meet their circumstances.

Additional information

The government laid the commencement order today (14 January 2019) that brings this change into force from 15 May 2019. The commencement order also sets out who will be exempt from this change.



Comments

Sami Houmrani

20:41 PM, 21st April 2019
About 5 months ago

For me the more worrying thing is that at any time the Government can play with your pension pot and for my generation, it’s more than possible that the retirement age will be so high, that we will be ‘working’ until we die.

Even worse, when we think about how much we need to put into our retirement funds, we can give up because the savings ahead seems too mammoth to comprehend.

I’ve actually decided to not calculate when I will need for retirement. Rather I focus on what I can do now, to maximise what I’ve got, without compromising the lifestyle I’m acquired to!

Rob Crawford

11:10 AM, 22nd April 2019
About 5 months ago

We will experience a higher number of divorces now. It's a good job the law is changing to make it easier! But seriously, this will impact those with little additional income above the state pension. In the light of other PRS legislation this demographic is high risk and will really begin to suffer.


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