State Pension Equalisation

Equalisation and extension of State Pension Age - effects on Housing Benefit /Council Tax Support.

The State Pension age for women is being increased from 60 to 65, starting in April 2010 and ending in April 2020. The changes to Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support came into force on 6 April 2010 in line with the start of the equalisation of the State Pension age.

  • Women born before 6 April 1950 will continue to become eligible for their State Pension at 60.
  • Women born between 6 April 1950 and 5 April 1955 will have a State Pension age of between 60 and 65, depending on their date of birth.
  • Those born on or after 6 April 1955 will have the same State Pension age as men (65).
  • The Pensions Act 2007 provided that a second stage approach will mean a common retirement date of 68, for both men and women by 2046.

Other benefits which are payable up to ‘pensionable age' and which currently cease at 60 for women and 65 for men, will also be available to women aged 60 to 64. These benefits include Jobseekers Allowance and Employment & Support Allowance.

The minimum age for entitlement to Pension Credit and pensioner Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support is currently 60 for both men and women, will increase in line with female State Pension qualifying age.

Income Support and working-age Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support, which currently have a maximum qualifying age of 60 for both men and women, will be payable up to the new qualifying age for Pension Credit.

Therefore, from 6 April 2010, the upper cut-off age for working age Housing/Council Tax Support will start to rise for men and women, in line with the State Pension age equalisation and extension changes.

Similarly the lower qualifying age for Housing (State Pension Credit)/Council Tax Benefit (State Pension Credit) will start to increase at the same rate.

The same process will apply to Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance and Pension Credit (guarantee credit).

Note: Pension Credit (savings credit) already has a start date of age 65 for all and is, therefore, unaffected by the equalisation process.

Appendix A shows that throughout the 10 year equalisation process,

  • the female State Pension age based on their date of birth
  • earliest qualification start date for Housing Benefit /Council Tax Support (State Pension Credit) and Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit) for both men and women.

Note: The earliest qualification start date will also be the day after the latest date that working age Housing/Council Tax Benefit and Income Support will be payable to all customers and Employment & Support Allowance and Jobseekers Allowance to women.

Appendix B contains a timetable showing State Pension qualifying dates for the extension of the State Pension age from age 65 for all to age 68 for all. These changes will be introduced between 2024 and 2046. It will also apply to the maximum age up to which Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance, Employment & Support Allowance and working age Housing Benefit /Council Tax Support are payable and the earliest qualification start date for Housing/Council Tax Benefit (State Pension Credit) and Pension Credit.


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