Changes to state pension age

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.

Our pension age calculator tells you the date when you will qualify for the state pension and when you will qualify for Pension Credit. For single females these two dates are the same, but for others the dates may be different.

Once state pension age for women has reached 65 in November 2018 there will then be further increases to eventually reach age 68. These increases beyond 65 affect both men and women and are included in the pension age calculator.

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. From 6th April 2014 the minimum age for the state pension (and for Pension Credit) will be 62.

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. For information see Universal Credit and pension age for couples.

Earliest date men and women can qualify for Pension Credit and 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 from 2018 onward

Once state pension age for women has reached 65 in November 2018 there will then be a further increase to reach age 66 by October 2020. Eventually state pension age will rise to age 68 for people born after April 1978. These increase beyond 65 affect both men and women and are included in the pension age calculator.

Under current government plans, for both men and women state pension age will increase

  • from 65 to 66 between December 2018 and October 2020
  • from 66 to 67 between April 2026 and April 2028
  • from 67 to 68 between April 2044 and April 2046

It is likely that further increases in state pension age, beyond age 68, will be announced in the future.