‘Mixed-age’ couples could lose £7,000 a year as pension credit cut kicks in this week
- Mixed age couples are where one partner has retired and the other is still of working age
- From Wednesday, these couples will no longer be able to apply for pension credit and pension-age housing benefit
- But couples who are eligible will be able to make a backdated claim
Older couples where one partner is drawing their State pension but the other is still of working age are being urged to check their eligibility for key pensioner benefits as a result of new rules that come in this week.
The call to action, from charity Age UK, is in response to changes in State benefits that will result in one in three older couples – where one partner has retired and the other is still of working age – losing out to the tune of £35,000.
From Wednesday, such ‘mixed age’ couples will no longer be able to apply for pension credit and pension-age housing benefit – both designed to support the poorest pensioners.
Low income pensioners with a partner of working age are urged to see if they are entitled to the benefits
Age UK calculates that a third of such couples have an age gap of five or more years, which means they are set to lose out by £7,000 a year while waiting for their partner to retire.
One in 12 couples has an age gap of ten years or more meaning the loss could be as much as £70,000.
The charity is calling on low income pensioners with a partner of working age to see if they are entitled to the benefits – and put in a claim. Couples who are eligible will be able to make a backdated claim provided it is filed by August 13.
Caroline Abrahams, director of Age UK, says: ‘We are deeply concerned that benefits designed to support these people are being abolished without fully understanding the impact.’
The Department of Work and Pensions says it has written to couples affected.
If you are unsure, contact Age UK on 0800 169 65 65 or visit ageuk.org.uk/money.
Or call the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 991234.