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Pension credit changes

Concerns have arisen that pensioners with working age partners could lose £7,320 a year when placed on Universal Credit. Campaigners warn the benefits change could push thousands of elderly people into poverty.

Pensioners who have partners of working age will be barred from applying for pension credit until their partner reaches state pension age. Instead, they will have to apply for Universal Credit, a change that will see many couples lose out on £7,320 in benefits each year.

Couples with the most significant age gaps face the biggest hit to their finances. According to Age UK, 31% of people in a relationship have an age gap of five years of more, meaning thousands of pensioners will lose out on upwards of £35,000 waiting for their partners to reach state pension age.

Charities are calling on the government to reverse the decision, which was made in 2012. While the move will not affect mixed-age couples who already receive pension credit, the government estimates that by 2023/24, 60,000 pensioners and their young partners will have been affected by the policy change.

Read: Huffington Post – Pension Credit Changes Leave Thousands of Pensioners At Risk Of Being ‘Pushed Into Poverty’