From 15/5/2019, mixed-age couples will be excluded from entitlement to Pension Credit.
At present, and until that date, mixed aged couples can claim the more generous Pension Credit as long as the member of the couple above retirement age makes the claim. They can also claim Housing Benefit(without the Benefit Cap or the bedroom tax) rather than Universal Credit. There are no extra elements for being a pensioner under Universal Credit, making clients worse off.
Clients who claim either Pension Credit or Housing Benefit, before this date will remain on those benefits for as long as they are still entitled. They would also be able to claim the other benefit in the future as well.
As both these benefits can be backdated for 3 months, then in effect couples may be able to make claims under the existing rules on or before 13/8/2019. DWP guidance confirms this. The guidance also confirms that if a couple are entitled to Pension Credit/ the more generous form of Housing Benefit on 15/5/2019, they can continue to be entitled as long the conditions for at least one of those benefits remain met.
AGE UK warn this could leave some couples £7,000 per year worse off. Advisers should consider looking out for clients who might be entitled and advise them to make a claim for Pension Credit/ Housing Benefit now.
Year No.of couples Savings
2019/20 15,000 £45m
2020/21 30,000 £130m
2021/22 40,000 £220m
2022/23 50,000 £315m
2023/24 60,000 £385m
Protect your pension rights. If you currently receive pension credit (or start receiving it by 14 May) you’ll carry on getting it even if you have a younger partner.
Call the Pension Service on 0800 99 1234 or claim on line or if you live locally contact us for more help.