Major rule change that could delay your free older person's bus pass

Reaching retirement age brings with it the promise of free travel benefits with an elderly bus pass – but rule changes mean you’ll get it later in life than expected.

The rules differ between nations and in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales it is possible to apply for a bus pass from the age of 60.

However, in England it is tied to the state retirement age, which increases gradually and depends on the date of birth.

In England you can apply for a bus pass for free travel for women once you reach the statutory retirement age – regardless of whether you are a man or a woman, the Express Reports.

Here are the planned changes:

What is the statutory retirement age and when does it change?

As things stand, most people will reach the statutory retirement age at 66, but this will change in the years to come.

The statutory retirement age for men and women will reach 67 years between 2026 and 2028 on the current government schedule.

In addition, it is expected to increase to 68 by 2046 and could change again in the future depending on factors such as changes in life expectancy.

How to apply for a bus pass for the elderly

To begin the application process, applicants must contact the government authorities website.

There is a tool on the website for users to enter their zip code.

You will then receive the contact details of your local council.

The local councils can then be contacted about the procedures for applying for bus tickets, which may differ between local authorities.

When will you receive your state pension?

State pensions themselves require at least 10 years of social security contributions.

A minimum of 35 years is required to receive the full amount of the current £ 179.60 per week.

State pension claims can be made online and the government says this is the quickest method.

However, payments can also be made by telephone or post.

The state pension can be applied for up to four months before reaching the statutory retirement age.

This must be carefully observed, as state pensions are not paid out automatically, but must be applied for.

The government will notify eligible recipients of what needs to be done no later than two months before they reach statutory retirement age.

State pensions can be claimed even if a person continues to work, potentially increasing a person’s income in later years.

First state pension payments should be received within five weeks of reaching legal retirement age and you may receive part of the payment first.

In addition, payments are made every four weeks.

When are state pensions paid?

The day of payment for the state person depends on a person’s national insurance number.

The last two digits of the number determine which day of the week the money arrives, as described below:

  • Monday – 00 to 19
  • Tuesday – 20 to 39
  • Wednesday – 40 to 59
  • Thursday – 60 to 79
  • Friday – 80 to 99


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