The state pension age must be reached in order for a person to claim the state pension. However, this has been rising in recent years. In the past, the state pension age for women was 60, while it was 65 for men.
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But, state pension age parity was reached in November 2018, and now the ages for both sexes are rising at the same rate.
The state pension age shares a link with a bus pass for free travel for some people – while it doesn’t for others.
This is because in England, a person can get a bus pass for free travel when they reach the female state pension age, regardless of whether they’re a man or a woman.
However, in Wales, a person can get a bus pass when a person reaches 60.
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Free bus pass: Some people can get a free bus pass before reaching state pension age for women (Image: GETTY)
Meanwhile in Scotland, an individual can get an older person’s bus pass when they’re 60 – and this is the same in Northern Ireland.
While those in England need to reach the female state pension age in order to get this particular pass, it may be that some people are able to travel on forms of public transport for free earlier.
People who live in London, for instance, can travel free on buses, tubes, and other transport when they’re 60.
However, this is only for journeys within London.
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It may also be possible for a person to get a bus pass for free travel sooner.
The government website’s “Apply for an older person’s bus pass” page includes a tool which enables a person to check and potentially apply for a bus pass from their local council.
In order to use it, the user needs to enter the relevant postcode, and click find.
The service then matches the postcode with the relevant council, and users can then click through to this website.
Free bus pass: State pension age has been rising in recent years (Image: GETTY)
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Age UK explains what the main national public transport concessions available to “older” people are.
The website says these are:
“Free older person’s bus pass means you can travel free on local buses in England.The Senior Railcard is an annual savings card. You buy it for a one-off cost each year and it will allow you to make big savings on most rail fares in the UK.London Freedom Pass gives you free or discounted travel for London residents across London transport networks, including trams, national rail, the underground, river services, and buses.Various transport concessions available to disabled older people.”
Free bus pass: Londoners who are 60 but not state pension age can travel for free in London only (Image: GETTY)
The charity adds that it could be worth contacting individual coach and train operators to see if they offer discounts.
An example of this could be the Senior Coachcard for people who are 60 and over from National Express – which costs £12.50 and offers a third off travel throughout the year.
It adds: “Some local authorities offer concessions that apply to local public transport.
“Contact your local council for more information about what they offer.”