State pension age changes could affect free bus pass and free prescriptions

If state pension age changes go ahead, millions of Britons could be left waiting longer to claim their freebie benefits.

Currently, Britons can claim a free bus pass once they reach 66 – the state pension age – however, if the changes go ahead, they will be left waiting years longer.

As life expectancy falls within the UK, it has called for a revision of state pension age increases.

If the state pension age continues to increase, older Britons could struggle to stay in full-time work and have to wait longer for pensioner benefits.

As the cost of living crisis continues, many older Britons could be waiting on these discounts and freebies to help manage their costs.

To check when someone can qualify for the state pension, they can use the free tool on the Government website.

The useful tool can help individuals find out several things to help them plan for the future.

This includes:

  • When they will reach state pension age
  • Their Pension Credit qualifying age
  • When they will be eligible for free bus travel.

By inputting their date of birth, the tool should reveal their state pension age.

Pensioners are urged to check the Government website to see what other benefits they may be entitled to as this could prove vital in upcoming months.

As well as getting a free bus pass, those over 60 can get extra financial support through:

  • Winter Fuel Payment
  • Pension Credit
  • Attendance Allowance
  • TV Licence concessions
  • Healthcare costs.

For more information, people can visit the Government website.

At present, there is ongoing speculation as to whether the free prescription age could be aligned to the state pension age, with reports suggesting the Government may ditch this idea due to backlash.

Britons can expect to receive a free prescription at the age of 60, while those in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland get it free regardless of age.

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Millions could be left to pay rising medication costs for a few extra years.

Currently, prescriptions cost £9.35 per item, but research from Chemist4U has estimated prescription charges could rise to £12.98 per item by 2025, with the data based on the rate of previous increases to charges.

Organisations, such as Age UK, have advice on their websites on how over 60s can save money if they have to wait longer for the free bus pass.

The charity stated: “It can also be worth contacting individual transport operators to see if they offer discounts.

“For example, National Express offers Coachcards to older or disabled customers, which cost £12.50 and save you a third on your travel across the year.”

Older people are also to claim a Senior Railcard for train travel, which offers people a third off the price of tickets.

Anyone aged 60 or over can buy this concession which saves people up to £76 a year on rail fares.

For more information, people can visit the Age UK website.

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