State pension age for women is gradually increasing from 60 to 65. This affects when both men and women can claim Pension Credit and other means-tested benefits for pensioners.
Age of entitlement for Pension Credit
The minimum age for Pension Credit, and for Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit for people of pension age, is also changing. For both men and women the minimum age increases in line with women’s state pension age.
State pension age for women has now gone up by one year. From 6th April 2012 the minimum age is 61, and it has increased gradually since then. If you are aged 61 or over you should check your pension age using our state pension age calculator. We will then ask you whether you would like the calculator to work out your working age means-tested benefits (such as Income Support) or pension age benefits like Pension Credit.
If you are in a couple your eligibility for means-tested benefits is currently determined by the age of the oldest person in the couple, even if the oldest person in the couple is male. However, please be aware that under Universal Credit, which is being introduced from October 2013, this rule will be reversed and the age of the youngest member of a couple will determine whether they qualify for Pension Credit
Earliest date men and women can qualify for pension age means-tested benefits
As of 6th March 2013 anyone born before 6th October 1951 qualifies for pension age means-tested benefits (Pension Credit guarantee element and Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit for people of pension age). Dates for people born after this are below.
- People born 06/09/51 – 05/10/51 can claim from 06/03/2013
- People born 06/10/51 – 05/11/51 can claim from 06/05/2013
- People born 06/11/51 – 05/12/51 can claim from 06/07/2013
- People born 06/12/51 – 05/01/52 can claim from 06/09/2013
- People born 06/01/52 – 05/02/52 can claim from 06/11/2013
- People born 06/02/52 – 05/03/52 can claim from 06/01/2014
- People born 06/03/52 – 05/04/52 can claim from 06/03/2014
State Pension Age changes 2020 onwards (this information will change under the coalition government's plans)
Between 2024 and 2046 the state pension age will rise for both men and women. This increase, again, will be gradual, occurring over two years every decade. For both men and women this means the state pension age will increase
- from 65 to 66 between April 2024 and April 2026
- from 66 to 67 between April 2034 and April 2036
- from 67 to 68 between April 2044 and April 2046