Pension Age Equalization

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    The amendment regs to take account of pension age equalization were laid before parliament yesterday –

    – not terribly exciting but obviously systems, forms etc will need updating.

    The principal rules distinguishing HB and HB(SPC) cases (regs 5 and 5) are already defined in terms of reaching the qualifying age for state pension credit (QAFSPC) so no need for amendment.

    The amendment regs replace age 60+ with QAFSPC for the obvious things like higher earnings disregard and pensioner, disability and enhanced disability premiums [no amendment required for these for HB(SPC))].

    They also replace the “59 years and 35 weeks” provision for advance claims ( HB Reg 83(11) ) with “17 weeks younger than QAFSPC”.

    The rules on disregarding properties occupied by former partners/relatives age 60+/incapitated ( HB Sched 6 para 4(a) ) and the rules on ‘old cases’ rent restriction protected vulnerable groups – age 60+/children/incap-wk -( CPR Sched 3 para 5(2)-saved reg 13) are also amended to substitute QAFSPC for age 60+.

    Oddly, a couple of references to age 60 appear to have been preserved in the HB Regs : in reg 42 – notional income – at subpara (2)(c) and in reg 86 – evidence and information – at subpara (5).

    There are going to be further equalization-related amendments to the income related benefits (pending the 2009 Welfare reform bill) so perhaps they’ll be tidied up then if necessary.

    QAFSPC = pensionable age for a woman. Pensionable age is determined by following the algorithm given by Pensions Act 1995 s126 and Sched 4 (as amended by Pensions Act 2007 s13 and Sched 3 which brought in the increases from age 65->68 ).

    If you look up the rules for working out a person’s pensionable age you might be puzzled by the final step:-

    “(10) A person born after 5th April 1978 but before 6th April 1968 attains
    pensionable age when the person attains the age of 68.” (!)

    (that’s from the blue book version of PA 1995
    – this pm – may have been changed since).

    Fortunately this doesn’t mean that people born after 1978 can never reach pensionable age – it’s just a consolidation error.

    If anyone needs to look up a QAFSPC you can use the Pension Service calculator at

    or you can look at the table i’ve posted to .

    Quiz question: The Pension Service’s pension age calculator gives leaplings’ birthdays as the 1st of March – are they right?


    The amendment regs were re-issued on Friday due to a numbering glitch in the original – it doesn’t look like any of the HB/CTB provisions have been altered.

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