The Welfare Reform Act 2012 amended entitlement conditions for Pension Credit so as to require both members of a couple to have reached the qualifying age for Pension Credit before the couple can be entitled to it.
The change will not affect mixed age couples who are entitled to Pension Credit and/or pension age Housing Benefit immediately before the implementation date unless their entitlement to both those benefits subsequently ends.
An estimate of the number of mixed age couples who may be affected by the forthcoming changes to be introduced on 15 May 2019 is set out below:
Estimated mixed age couples affected by policy change
The table below gives estimates of the effects on Annual Managed Expenditure (AME) of the changes to be introduced in May 2019 to the eligibility for Pension Credit and pension-age Housing Benefit of couples where one partner has reached state pension age and the other has not. The estimates relate to couples who are not in receipt of either Pension Credit or pension-age Housing Benefit at the point the changes are introduced. They include no estimate of behavioural effects, for example from job retention or increased saving for retirement.
Estimated overall AME savings