Published On: Wed, Sep 4th, 2019

State pension age changes for women – how the rise may affect your free bus pass in UK | Personal Finance | Finance


The state pension is a form of income which many will rely on having, later in life. The state pension age, however, is rising. In the past, it stood at 65 for men, and 60 for women. However, in November 2018, state pension age parity was reached between men and women, with the age at the time reaching 65.

Now, the state pension age is set to rise to 66 by October 2020, before further increases in the future.

Some people will be aware that they may be able to apply for an older person’s bus pass, giving them free travel during their later years.

Gov.uk explains when a person can get this, depending on where they live in the UK.

For instance, in England, one can get a bus pass for free travel when they reach the female state pension age.

This is regardless of whether they’re a man or a woman.

That said, individuals living in London can travel free on buses, tubes, and other transport when they’re 60 – but only within London.

The rules differ in Wales, where one can get a bus pass when they reach the age of 60.

In Scotland, residents who are aged 60 or older may apply for a National Entitlement Card.

This can be used for free travel on registered local and long-distance bus services, as well as free travel on Edinburgh trams.

Meanwhile in Northern Ireland, one can submit a 60+ SmartPass application no earlier than six weeks before their 60th birthday, if they have been permanently resident in Northern Ireland for a minimum of three months.

Those approaching 65 may apply for a Senior (65+) SmartPass.

This application may be made up to four weeks before one’s 65th birthday, with it starting working on their 65th birthday onwards.

Some people may be able to claim Pension Credit.

This is an income-related benefit, which a person may be able to get in addition to the state pension.

It is made up of two parts: Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.

The former is a top-up amount if one’s weekly income is below £167.25 for single people, or £255.25 for couples.

The latter is an extra payment for people who have saved some money towards their retirement, such as a private pension.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) explain that the easiest and quickest way to apply for this, is for those eligible to call 0800 99 1234.

In June earlier this year, the DWP revealed there is a 60 per cent take-up of Pension Credit, and more than a million people entitled to claim the benefit but not yet doing so.



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