Changes to state benefits for mixed age couples confirmed

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced changes to benefits for mixed age couples that will be introduced from 15 May 2019.

The state benefits which you may be eligible to claim during your working life are different to those which may be available to you once you reach state pension age and, under current rules, a married couple can choose to make that transition when the older partner of the couple reaches state pension age.

Effective from 15 May 2019 it will no longer be possible to make an election and the transition to ‘post working life’ benefits will take effect when the younger spouse reaches state pension age.

According to government “this will ensure the younger partner is in the same circumstances as other people of the same age, regardless of the age of their partner”.

However, a leading pension firm in the UK claims that the change could cost some couples over £7,000 a year.

Mixed age couples with a partner under state pension age already in receipt of Pension Credit or pension-age Housing Benefit at the point of change will be unaffected while they remain entitled to either benefit.

If a mixed age couple claim working age benefits, the pensioner partner will not be subject to work-based conditionality. Any work-based conditionality for the younger partner will be tailored to meet their circumstances.

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