older-couple-reviewing-over-60s-benefits

Typically, people begin to seriously consider their retirement plans once they have reached their 60s.

It is the perfect opportunity for you to step back, appreciate your achievements, and devote your time to those people, interests and hobbies that you love most. After a lifetime of raising a family, working or fulfilling various other responsibilities, it is an exciting prospect. 

Still, there are financial implications that have to be accounted for as well. It is a common assumption that your state pension is all that you are entitled to in the United Kingdom. However, there are actually a range of benefits that you could be claiming.

It is always helpful to be as prepared and as informed as possible, whether you are approaching retirement or you retired a while ago. 

For this reason, we’ve written this comprehensive and useful article describing the benefits that are available to anyone who is over 60.

Over 60s Benefits

1. State Pension

First and foremost, there is the state pension. In the United Kingdom, you are eligible to claim your state pension once you are 66. Of course, the amount you are entitled to will depend on how many years of National Insurance (NI) contributions you have qualified for. For further information, it is always worth reading through the resources on the government website

For example, your pension will also be determined by your year of birth. For example, for men born after 6th April 1951 and women after 6th April 1953, you may be entitled to £172.50 per week as long as you have at least 35 qualifying years. If you were born before these dates, or you do not have the required qualifying years, then the amount you are entitled to will change. 

There are several different ways to accrue NI qualifying years:

2. Winter Fuel Payment

With rising energy bills, more and more people are struggling to heat their homes. Your household may be eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment as long as someone who was born on or before 25th September 1956 lives there. It is an annual tax-free payment that is between £250 and £600, and the amount you will receive will depend on whether they are any other qualifying occupants in your household as well as their ages. 

You should receive the Winter Fuel Payment automatically if you’re claiming a state pension or any other social security benefits, although this doesn’t include certain benefits such as housing benefit, child benefit or council tax reduction. 

Even if you don’t receive these benefits, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not eligible, although you will have to make a claim in order to receive it. Guidance on the Winter Fuel Payment and how to make a claim can be found here.

3. Warm Homes Discount Scheme

Under this scheme, you could receive a £140 deduction from your winter electricity bill. If you claim pension credits, or certain benefits, and you are with a supplier that has signed up to this scheme, then it should be automatically deducted from your bill. 

However, if you’re on a pre-pay or pay-as-you-go metre, or if you’re not sure whether you are eligible or not, then you should get in touch with your supplier. 

4. Healthcare Costs 

Regardless of age, it is essential that you ensure you are as healthy as possible by making lifestyle changes as well as utilising healthcare services. If you’re over 60, there are a number of concessions that you may be entitled to for affordable and accessible healthcare. Anyone who is more than 60 will receive free prescriptions from the NHS. You will also be eligible for a free NHS eyesight test, so you should definitely inform your optician if you still haven’t had an appointment. If you’re over 65, you can also receive a free flu jab every year. 

There is additional help available through the NHS Low Income Scheme, although your eligibility for these will depend on your particular circumstances. For example, NHS dental treatment, any travelling costs associated with receiving NHS care, as well as the cost of glasses or contact lenses will be covered either completely or partially. You may qualify for this help if you receive certain benefits. 

Even if you’re not in receipt of these benefits, you may still be entitled to help if you have a low income. The NHS website has a detailed guide on the application process. 

5. Discounted Public Transport

If you’re over 60, then there are several public transport concessions that are available to you. Whilst some of these will ensure that you have discounted fares, others will mean that you can travel completely for free. 

For example, you will be eligible for an older person’s bus pass once you reach state pension age, so that you can use the national bus service without having to pay anything. The application process is quite simple, and you can do it through the government website

When it comes to rail travel, you will be entitled to the Senior Railcard once you are more than 60. It is a discount card, which means that you can purchase it for a fee of £30 each year and you will receive a third off the cost of your train travel. If you travel frequently or on a long-distance basis, the savings can be significant. Applying for the Senior Railcard is straightforward through the website, and you’ll just need a valid passport or driving license as identification. 

6. Attendance Allowance

Claiming Attendance Allowance is worth considering if you’re over state pension age and need someone’s help to look after yourself properly. There are two rates that are determined by the level of care you need, so you could receive either £61.85 or £92.40 per week if you have a physical or mental disability such as sight or hearing impairments or dementia. 

This isn’t a means-tested benefit either, which means that your savings or income won’t affect your eligibility. You can apply through the government website by filling out the Attendance Allowance Claim form.

7. TV License Concessions

Previously, anyone over 75 was entitled to a free TV license. The rules were changed in 2020, however, which means that you will only be eligible for a free TV license if you or anyone in your household is over 75, and claiming pension guarantee credits.

Knowing Your Entitlements

If you’re over 60, there are a range of concessions and discounts that are available to you. Some of these are accessible to everyone over 60, whilst others have additional eligibility requirements, such as receiving certain benefits or being on a low income. 

It is estimated that billions of pounds of benefits are unclaimed every year. By checking your eligibility for the aforementioned benefits, you can ensure that you’re not missing out on anything that you are entitled to.