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Changes to benefits for older people and the retired
State pension age is increasing and a new State Pension was introduced in April 2016.
Pension Credit is a means tested or income related benefit for pensioners. It is made up of two different parts, Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit. To be eligible you must have reached the Pension Credit qualifying age. To find out the date from which you qualify, you can use the State Pension age calculator. Further changes to the State Pension age are likely to affect the Pension Credit qualifying age. More details on Pension Credit ages See below 15 May 2019 change for 'mixed age' couples.
Pension Age Housing Benefit
People of Pension Credit age can also claim Housing Benefit - but see below '15 May 2019' change for 'mixed age' couples.
Universal Credit is for people of working age.
- 15 May 2019
Couples who make a new claim for Universal Credit - where one is under pension credit age and one is over - will have to claim Universal Credit instead of Pension Credit or pension age Housing Benefit - unless they are protected. Before this change, such ‘mixed age’ couples would be able to claim Pension Credit and/or pension age Housing Benefit. Note, Pension Credit and pension age Housing Benefit can be backdated three months, so claims up to 13 August can be made so long as the rules are satisfied since 14 May. More details from Age UK
- In effect from April 2016
Savings credit (part of Pension Credit) is being phased out from April 2016. Entitlement to Savings Credit ends for those who reach State Pension Age on or after 6 April 2016. It also ends for ‘mixed age’ couples unless one of them has continuously been on it since before 6 April 2016.
The rule which allows savings to be ignored (called ‘assessed income periods’) for Pension Credit claims is also being phased out.
See our April 2017 benefit bulletin for more details on these and other April 2017 changes.
- From December 2018
The age for claiming Attendance Allowance starts to go up from 65 to 66 in line with a person’s State Pension Age. Therefore, the age for claiming Personal Independence Payment also increases to under State Pension Age. For details see our November 2018 Benefit Bulletin .
Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment for those 65 or over
Disability Living Allowance is being replaced by Personal Independence Payment. If you're aged 65 or over on the 8 April 2013 you will remain on Disability Living Allowance. You will need to continue to meet the entitlement conditions. You do not need to claim Personal Independence Payment.
People who make a new claim when they are aged 65 or pension age will be considered under Attendance Allowance. But see information about State Pension Age above.
- More information on Disability Living Allowance
- More information on Personal Independence Payments
- More information on Attendance Allowance
For a comprehensive list of benefit changes see our 'timeline of benefit changes' on our changes to the benefits system page