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Financial Perks for the over 60s in the UK
At the moment, in the UK, women officially retire at age 60 and men at age 65.Currently, however, both men and women aged 60 and over, are entitled to s few financial perks. With a General Election looming these perks could be improved or slashed, and so it is important to know your rights and claim any benefits now. Often when there is a change in benefit those already in receipt are protected.
If you are in doubt try researching potential benefits by searching online, reading leaflets available in local libraries and hospitals or asking the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
- Free prescriptions. In England and most parts of the UK prescriptions are not free. There are some exclusions and it is possible to purchase a discount if you take quite a few medications on a regular basis. On the whole the cost of a normal prescription is £7.20 per item. If your prescription has four items on it then you will pay £28.80. Each year this amount increases. Once you hit 60 and are in receipt of free prescriptions you could save a substantial amount of money.
- Discounts. Everything from the hairdressers to the huge DIY store offers reductions for pensioners. Sometimes this is a particular day of the week. These discounts are usually applicable once you are 60.
- Travel. Free bus travel varies a little around the country.Recently this free bus pass has been made available in most if not all parts of the UK. Your free bus pass will allow you to travel on buses for free after 9.30am any day between Monday to Friday, and all day at the weekends. Coach travel is at half price for qualifying over 60s. You can travel for less on British Rail also but you will need to purchase a Senior Railcard.
- Eyesight Tests. Eyesight tests are also free for the over 60s.
- English Heritage and The National Trust offer reductions for the over 60s.
- Sports Facilities. Swimming, Gyms and other sports facilities will usually offer a discount for the over 60s.
- Education. Fancy learning something new? Take advantage of the special rates for the over 60s.
- Entertainment.Most cinemas and theatres offer special ticket prices for the over 60s. These offers will vary regionally and may only be available for certain performances.
- State Pension. At the time of writing the State Pension is payable to women when they are aged 60. This is due to change though. For women born after 1950 the age is set to rise. For example, women born in 1951 will have to wait until they are 61, those born in 1952, until they are 62 and so on. For those born after 1955 the State Pension will be payable aged 65. The Tories already have plans to increase this age further so only time will tell. It is possible to defer receipt of your Pension if desired.
Winter fuel Payments. If you and or your partner are aged over 60 you will be eligible for this payment. Even if you are still in work you can receive this help with your Winter Fuel Bills.
There are many more financial perks. It is always asking any provider such as Insurance Agent, Banker, Plumber or what you will if there is a discount for seniors. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Some of the perks highlighted here may change in 2010 depending on the outcome of the General Election. There are some changes already planned and I have provided links below.In many cases the changes will be negative.
However, let's hope whichever Government comes to power that help for the elderly is not sacrificed in order to please the masses.
Changes on the way
- Winter Fuel Payment | NIDirect
Information on claiming a tax-free Winter Fuel Payment to keep warm in winter if you're aged 60 or over