Pensioners must wait longer for free bus pass – but many could benefit from other freebies

Sadiq Khan quizzed by pensioner on future of free bus passes

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While pensioners are currently eligible for their state pension and free bus pass when they reach 66-years old in England, that will soon increase to 67 and then 68-years-old.

To add fuel to the fire, the rules are different in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland where residents can apply for a free bus pass when they’re 60.

Many want the rules levelling up across the country so that pensioners in England are treated the same as the devolved nations.

However, campaigners are urging people to look beyond this and check that they are receiving the other benefits that they are entitled.

They say that there are other benefits or freebies that are often worth hundreds, if not thousands, more.

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A million pensioners are estimated to be missing out on Pension Credit which can be worth £3,000 a year.

Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Many people don’t realise they qualify for pension credit and risk missing out on a much-needed boost to their pension income.

“Pension credit also acts as a gateway to other benefits with over-75s being able to get a free TV licence, for instance.

“You can also get help with heating and council tax bills so it can potentially be a massive help.”

What freebies can you get when you reach state pension age?

  • Pension credit
  • Council tax reduction
  • Warm Home Discount
  • Housing Benefit
  • TV Licence (over 75s).

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Pensioners are the most likely age group to be missing out on the Government help they are entitled to.

A DWP spokesperson told “We want to ensure pensioners receive all of the support they are entitled to and are continuing to encourage those that are eligible to claim Pension Credit, and the wide range of other benefits it can provide; including, Warm Home Discount, Housing Benefit and Council Tax reduction schemes, as well as a free TV licence for those over 75.

“Having savings, a pension or owning a home are not barriers to applying.”

To check out what benefits they are entitled to, Britons should visit the Government’s official website.

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