by oandk oandk

From 15 May, the rules for couples claiming pension will alter, in other words there will be tax changes for pensioner couples.

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced that from mid-May, couples will only be able to claim pension credit when both are over the State Pension age.

In the midst of the sea of Brexit news, it can be easy for other newsworthy announcements to quietly slip under the headlines and go unnoticed. Is this the Government “burying” bad news at the time of the Brexit hub bub ?

Previously, a mixed-age couple could claim the benefits when the oldest of the pair reached State Pension age, which is currently 65 for both men and women. Those currently in receipt of the credits will not be affected, but new claimants after this date could lose out on up to £7,000 a year in benefits.

This announcement will affect all those people entitled to receive benefits and who reach state retirement age on or after 16 May this year and who are in a relationship where their partner is younger than themselves
defined as “mixed age couples” by the Government.

At present, when state retirement age is reached, if on a low income and eligible, entitled to claim Pension Credit. Pension Credit is an income-related benefit that guarantees most people of state retirement age a minimum income. It is believed that at present around four million people are entitled to claim this benefit.

However, what the Government announcement means is that from May this year, if you reach state pension age and you were previously entitled to claim Pension Credit you will no longer be able to do so. These tax changes for pensioner couples will force some people to claim Universal Credit instead until such time as a partner also reaches state retirement age; this could leave people much worse off as a result.

This could clearly be quite worrying for some people ! Get in touch HERE is you have any questions about making tax provisions in yout retirement.