State pension age changes could impact when you get free bus pass

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Many Britons across the country could potentially miss out on a free bus pass for years due to eligibility rules. A free bus pass will be an important entitlement for older people as it allows freedom of travel without cost.

It can help many to remain independent, or simply to carry out daily tasks and appointments with relative ease.

However, those who are living in England may have to adjust to receiving their free bus pass later than they perhaps expected.

Currently, in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, people can expect to receive a free bus pass at the age of 60.

Devolved governments have control over their own travel policy, hence the difference here.

In England, however, the free bus pass is tied to the state pension age, as decided by the Westminster Government.

The state pension age is currently 66, but this will not be the case forever.

In fact, plans to raise the state pension age to 67 and 68 have already been drafted, with timings to be firmed up.

The change will impact millions of people who may have to wait longer for their free bus pass entitlement.

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At present, the state pension age will rise to 67 between 2026 and 2028.

The increase to 68 is currently planned by 2048.

However, a consultation currently taking place could see this moved forward by several years.

It is considering whether the increase to age 68 should be brought forward to 2037-39.

The matter is yet to be decided, with the consultation still in progress.

The review results must be published by May 7, 2023.

One of the only exceptions to the state pension age free bus pass rule is within the capital city: London.

Here, individuals can unlock what is known as the Freedom Pass when they reach 60 years of age.

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This allows them to travel for free on buses, trams, tubes and other forms of public transport. 

However, this is only applicable for travel within the city.

Individuals can check their eligibility for a free bus pass via the Government’s website.

All they will need to do is enter their postcode to be redirected to the website of their local council, where more information can be gained.

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