Changes to benefits for mixed age couples

The government announced today changes to benefits for mixed age couples that will be introduced from 15 May 2019

When single people reach State Pension age, they move from working age benefits to pension age benefits.

Currently, couples can choose to make that transition when the older partner of the couple reaches State Pension age.

In 2012, Parliament voted to modernise the system and change the rule for couples so that the transition takes place when the younger partner reaches State Pension age. 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.

The government announced today that the change will be introduced from 15 May 2019.

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.

Additional information

The government laid the commencement order today (14 January 2019) that brings this change into force from 15 May 2019. The commencement order also sets out who will be exempt from this change.