State Pension age for men and women is gradually increasing from 65 to 66. This also affects when both men and women can claim Pension Credit and other means-tested benefits for pensioners.
To find out when you will qualify for the state pension you can use the pension age calculator.
The minimum age for the guarantee element of Pension Credit, and for Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support for people of pension age, is increasing in line with the state pension age. The minimum age for the state pension and therefore for guarantee Pension Credit, is now over 65 and is increasing.
If you are in a couple, your eligibility for pension age means-tested benefits is currently determined by the age of the oldest person in the couple. However, from 15 May 2019, this rule will be reversed and the age of the youngest member of a couple will determine whether they qualify.
If you are in a 'mixed age' couple, where one member is over pension age and one member is under pension age, and you have not yet claimed guarantee Pension Credit, make sure you check your entitlement and claim before 15 May or risk losing £1,000s in benefits.
For information see Universal Credit and pension age for couples.
The schedule for the increase in men's and women's state pension age from 65 to 66 is as follows:
Once state pension age for men and women has reached 66 in October 2020 there will then be further increases. Pension age is set to increase from 66 to 67 between 2026 and 2028. Rather than using specific dates for people born within a certain period, people born between 6 April 1960 and 5 March 1961 will reach pension age when they are 66 and the specified number of months below.
A person born on 31 July 1960 is considered to reach the age of 66 years and 4 months on 30 November 2026. A person born on 31 December 1960 is considered to reach the age of 66 years and 9 months on 30 September 2027. A person born on 31 January 1961 is considered to reach the age of 66 years and 10 months on 30 November 2027.
Current law allows for State Pension age for men and women to increase from 67 to 68 between 2044 and 2046 but a government review published 19 July 2017 proposes a new timetable which will see the State Pension age increase to 68 between 2037 and 2039, 7 years earlier than legislated for. The change will affect everyone born between 6 April 1970 and 5 April 1978.
It is likely that further increases in state pension age, to age 70 and beyond, will be announced in the future.