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Changes to State Pension Age affect social security benefits

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced that the State Pension age is going to increase at a faster pace than originally planned under the Pensions Act 2011.

State Pensions

From April 2016, women’s State Pension age will increase more quickly, to reach 65 by November 2018 instead of March 2020.

From December 2018, the State Pension age for both men and women will start to increase to reach age 66 by October 2020 instead of 2026.

How this will apply in practice:

  •  women born on or after 6 April 1953 will be affected by the accelerated equalisation of State Pension age to 65;
  •  men and women born after 5 December 1953 but before 6 October 1954 will have a State Pension age between 65 and 66;
  • men and women born on or after 6 October 1954 and before 6 April 1960 will have a State Pension age of 66.

Benefits

This change impacts on a number of social security benefits:

  • Pension Credit qualifying age will rise in line with the accelerated increase in women's state pension age to 65 and subsequently in line with the increase to 66;
  • working age benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker's Allowance and Income Support will now be available up to the appropriate revised state pension age; and
  • all future claimants for other benefits with a link to the state pension age threshold - for example the Winter Fuel Payment, Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment - will also be affected.

Northern Ireland advisers who need help with this or with other social security issues can contact our advice line, Monday to Friday, 9.30 to 1pm: 028 9024 4401

The DWP announcement can be found here

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