Older people in UK may have to wait longer for free bus pass after state pension report

The Government could raise the age at which people receive their state pension following a review

Published

Older people in the UK may be forced to wait longer to receive their free bus pass after a state pension report was published.

People receive the free benefit once they reach state pension age, which currently stands at 66.

But now the Government could increase the age at which people receive their state pension and, in turn, raise the age at which someone receives a bus pass.

Elderly people could be made to wait longer for a free bus pass
Elderly people could be made to wait longer for a free bus pass

Current rules would mean the state pension age will be raised to 68 between 2044 and 2046, but the independent review has suggested the age should now be raised to 68 between 2037 and 2039.

The report, carried out by John Cridland, former Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry, suggests that an increasing number of older people from the Baby Boomer generation, coupled with a rise in life expectancy, are the reasons for the suggestion.

The report reads: "In 1948, when the modern State Pension was introduced, a 65-year-old could expect to live for a further 13½ years, or 23 percent of their adult life, assuming adult life starts at 20.

“In 1995, when the first changes were enacted to equalise State Pension age, a 65-year-old could expect to live for 18½ years, or 29 percent of their adult life.

The Government could soon raise the state pension age
The Government could soon raise the state pension age

“This had risen to around 21 years by 2007, or 32 percent of their adult life, when further legislation was introduced to increase State Pension age.

"Increased longevity is a triumph of improved health and better living standards.

"But an ageing population also presents us with some profound challenges.

“It means that if we are to be fair to our children and ensure our society continues to be able to care properly for older people, we need to ensure that people spend on average the same proportion of time over State Pension age.

"The Government intends to follow the recommendation John Cridland made in his independent review to increase the State Pension age from 67 to 68 in 2037–39, bringing it forward by seven years from its current legislated date of 2044–46.

“This is the fair thing to do. It is also the responsible course of action."

People who think they could be eligible for a free bus pass can check by logging into the Government website, where you are asked to enter your postcode.