Older couples urged to act urgently to avoid losing money under pension credit changes

The introduction of universal credit could cause couples to lose thousands of pounds under changes to pension credit
John Monaghan

OLDER couples are being urged to act urgently to avoid losing thousands of pounds in pension credit before universal credit is rolled out across Northern Ireland.

Age NI has said it has received calls from 'mixed age' couples - where one partner is in work and the other is claiming a pension - as entitlements to pension credit will change under the reforms.

Universal credit has begun to be introduced in some parts of the north and will continue to be implemented over coming months.

Brenda Kearns from Age NI said: "Currently, couples can claim pension credit as long as one partner has reached the qualifying age. This will change for new claimants with the introduction of universal credit.

"Under universal credit, couples will only be able to claim pension credit when both have reached the qualifying age. If one person in a couple is under pension age, they must claim universal credit, rather than pension credit."

Ms Kearns added: "Those already in receipt of pension credit will not be affected by the changes from welfare reform. We would urge people to apply for pension credit as soon as possible before the introduction of universal credit takes place in their local area."

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