Changes to Pension Credit for mixed age couples
The Mixed-Age Pension Credit cut – What does it really mean?
Men and women used to be able to get Pension Credit (PC) when you, or the oldest person in a couple reached 60*.
This was because 60* was previously the age when women could get their state pension. For couples it was always the age of the oldest person that mattered when it came to claiming PC.
(*This is now at least 65 due to Tory changes to women’s retirement ages.)
From 15th May it will be the age of the youngest person that counts.
Where there are ‘mixed age couples’, with one partner above State Pension Age (SPA) and one below, from May they will now be forced to claim Universal Credit (UC) as they won’t be able to claim Pension Credit until the youngest person also reaches SPA.
Benefit rates for older people on Pension Credit (PC) can be over twice the rate of those paid to people of working age claiming UC.
Couple rate on Universal Credit £114.81 weekly
Couple rate on PC £255.25 weekly
A massive loss of over £140 weekly or over £7,000 yearly.
Other issues include savings / capital are much different when UC is claimed rather than PC, the loss of passporting entitlements etc, etc.
Work Incentives and Younger Partners?
From now until May 15th, if the younger partner is currently working, and thus their joint incomes are too high for PC, then it may make sense to stop, or reduce, work and claim Pension Credit now. This will avoid not being entitled later.
There are very many older people who do not receive the benefits to which they are entitled.
• About a third of pensioner households entitled to Pension Credit don’t claim it
• Over half of home owners entitled to Pension Credit don’t claim it
• Over half of all those entitled to Savings Pension Credit don’t claim it
A lot of these people, currently entitled, may have younger partners. The next four months will be their only opportunity to gain the Pension Credits and other benefits they may be entitled to, quite possibly substantial, for many, many years.
Lets see if Dumfries & Galloway Council do anything to help these Pensioner couples before May?
I will not hold my breath as they have done ZILCH to help local people previously due to their lack of knowledge when it comes to benefit entitlements.