Pensioners who live together as a couple will in future only be able to make a new claim for pension credit when BOTH partners are over the state pension age, under new rules set to come into effect in May so if you are eligible to claim, do it ASAP to avoid missing out.
Pension credit gives a guaranteed minimum income to those over the state pension age, which is now 65 for both men and women. Currently someone over 65 living in a couple can claim pension credit regardless of their partner’s age, but from 15 May 2019, those in couples will only be able to begin claiming if BOTH partners are over 65. It is important to note that If you already claim pension credit and your partner hasn’t reached the state pension age, you won’t be affected by the change and will carry on receiving it for as long as you’re eligible.
But if you don’t already claim, are over 65 or will be before 14 May, have a younger partner and meet the income criteria make sure you apply as soon as possible. The official deadline is 14 May 2019 (though in practice you have until 13 August 2019 to apply as you can backdate a claim by up to three months). It’s estimated over 50,000 pensioners with younger partners could claim currently but don’t – so if you’re eligible, apply as soon as possible.
After May, those in a couple where one partner hasn’t reached the qualifying age will need to apply for Universal Credit instead.