From 15th May 2019, a couple’s eligibility for Pension Credit will be determined by the age of the youngest in the relationship.

This means that you will be unable to claim Pension Credit until you and your partner are both at Pension Credit Qualifying Age. Currently, this is 66 years and above, but is likely to increase in the coming years.

If you are in a couple where one partner is of Pension Credit Qualifying Age, but the other is not, and you are currently claiming Pension Credit, you will continue to receive Pension Credit and these changes will not stop your claim.

Aside from the changes to Pension Credit, it’s important to know that the following changes will also take effect from the 15th May 2019:

  • If your entitlement is stopped, you can only start receiving Pension Credit again if: 
    • Both you and your partner have reached Pension Credit qualifying age, OR
    • You are claiming Housing Benefit because you have reached Pension Credit age
  • If either of these benefits stops, you may still be entitled to claim either benefit, as long as one is still payment.
  • If your entitlement to both Pension Credit and Housing Benefit stop, you will be unable to claim either of the benefits again until you both reach Pension Credit Qualifying age.
  • If you are single and receive Pension Credit, you will no longer be eligible if you form a couple with a partner who is under Pension Credit qualifying age.

Couples who are not eligible for Pension Credit because one partner is below Pension Credit qualifying age may be eligible to claim Universal Credit instead.

As Pension Credit offers higher rates than Universal Credit, it is strongly advised that you claim Pension Credit before 15th May, if you or your partner is of Pension Credit qualifying age.

If you are worried about how the changes to Pension Credit may affect you, please don’t hesitate to contact the Advice Team by calling 0161 448 4200.