State pension age increase could mean Britons wait longer for free bus pass | Personal Finance | Finance

Currently, the state pension age is 66 years old but this is due to change in the next few years. Under existing Government proposals, the retirement age will be raised which means those waiting for the freebie benefit will have to wait longer than expected. With this in mind, many over 60s are looking for alternative ways to get the free bus pass or, at least, discounted travel as they get older.

The state pension age will rise from 66 to 67 in between 2026 and 2028, according to the Government’s proposals.

Another increase to the retirement age is expected to take place sometime before 2048 at the latest.

These hikes to the state pension age are based on the Government’s expectations regarding life expectancy in the UK.

These estimates from the Government are also subject to changes in the wider world so the state pension age may be raised in different years than originally expected.

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Those of state pension age are entitled to many other benefits outside of the free bus pass which can boost their income or offer discounts on expenses.

For example, pensioners may be entitled to benefit payments from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), such as Pension Credit and Attendance Allowance.

Furthermore, people who have reached the state pension age can apply for a Council Tax Reduction depending on their circumstances.

However, many older people are reliant on the free bus pass to live active lives and will be inconvenienced if the eligibility criteria is changed.


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.

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Who else is eligible for the free bus pass?

Individuals who are unable to walk long distances due to a disability, injury or illness and those who are diagnosed as blind, partially sighted, deaf or unable to speak, may also be entitled to the free bus pass.

Furthermore, those who do not have arms or are unable to use their arms can get the freebie benefit, as well as anyone who has a learning disability which is determined as severe.

On top of this, Universal Credit claimants could get 50 percent off their bus travel while travelling to job interviews.

Outside of England, over 60s living in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland are entitled to a free bus pass, as well as all under 22s in Scotland who have a new National Entitlement Card (NEC).

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