State pension aged people can get a bus pass for free travel through their local council if they’re living in England. For those in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland it is possible to get a bus pass when reaching the age of 60.
However, these bus passes were impacted by the pandemic and throughout 2020, the rules on when they could and could not be used altered as infection rates changed.
It became possible to utilise these cards before 9am, as pensioners were offered the chance to make an earlier essential journey for food and other needs.
These timing changes came to an end for many recently, as councils across the UK detailed the ability to travel for free before 9am ended as schools reopened from March 8.
Going forward, it will only be possible to utilise free bus passes for non-peak hours, from 9:30am onwards.
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In 2018, the Government cemented free bus pass perks by amending legislation to protect the scheme and do away with the need to review it every five years.
At the time, Buses Minister Nusrat Ghani commented on the importance of this: “Being able to get out and about is hugely important for older and disabled people to keep their independence and play a role in their local community.
“Buses help connect people, homes and businesses and nearly 10 million people in this country are already benefiting from free off-peak bus travel.
“The legislation underpinning our important bus pass scheme is now set for the future, meaning this group will be able to access their local services and amenities.”
Currently, the new state pension age is 66 but the year in which people were born may also impact when they qualify.
To be able to claim the new state pension, a claimant will need to either be a man born on or after April 6 1951, or a woman born on or after April 6 1953.
Those who reached state pension age before April 6 2016 will qualify for the basic state pension instead.
Under current plans, the state pension age will reach 67 between 2026 and 2028.
Beyond this, it is expected to hit 68 by 2048.
On the Government’s website, it is possible to check on a person’s state pension, pension credit and free bus pass age.
This tool will simply require the users date of birth.
Once this is entered, users will be presented with an exact date for when they can claim these state benefits.
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