Time is running out for thousands of people to avoid missing out on a top-up to their pension income following changes to the rules introduced in May. Those affected have until 13 August to apply for pension credit. Otherwise they will lose the money for good.
The issue affects pensioner couples where one partner is eligible to claim pension credit – paid to poorer pensioners to ensure they have a guaranteed minimum income – but the other has not yet turned 65. Since May 15, couples have only been allowed to make their first claim for pension credit once both partners are aged over 65. However, those who were entitled to claim credit before the rules changed but hadn’t done so were given three months’ grace to make their application, even if they aren’t eligible under the new system. The deadline for doing so is 13 August.
If you were already claiming pension credit before 14 May, you don’t need to worry, even if your partner is not yet 65. These pensioners will continue to receive the benefit. But those who were eligible to claim but had not done so will lose the right to the money once the deadline passes – they’ll then have to wait for their partners to reach the age of 65.
If you’re in doubt about your eligibility, check before it’s too late. Government figures suggest around one million people entitled to the credit aren’t claiming it. Call the government’s Pension Credit claim line 0800 99 1234 for advice.