TV licence for over-75s still free with pension credit - find out if you can claim

11 June 2019

The BBC has announced that it is scrapping the free TV licence for people aged over 75.

This means up to 3.7 million pensioners will have to start paying from June 2020.

The current licence fee costs £154.50 for a colour licence and £52 for a black and white licence. TV licences for over-75s were previously funded by the government.

However, around 1.5 million households that include someone over 75 claiming pension credit could still be eligible for a free licence. The BBC says you will need to provide evidence that you are in receipt of pension credit to claim a free TV licence.

The BBC says this method is “used widely by the public and private sector.”

However many people eligible for pension credits do not claim them but should. 

What is pension credit?

Pension credit is an income-related benefit made up of two parts.

The guarantee credit tops up your weekly income to £163 if you are single or £248.80 for couples.

Savings credit is an extra payment for people who saved some money towards their retirement by saving or with a pension other than a state pension.

However, you might not be eligible for this credit if you reach state pension age on or after 6 April 2016.

The additional income provided by savings credit is worth up to £13.40 a week for a single person or £14.99 for couples.

According to the Department of Work and Pensions, up to 1.3 million pensioners are failing to claim pension credits worth £2,500 every year – or £3.5 billion in total.

Even if you can only claim a small amount it is still worth doing as it can enable you to qualify for other benefits.

How to claim pension credit

In order to claim pension credit your weekly income must be less than £167.25 if you’re single, or £255.25 if you are a couple.

To qualify you must also live in England, Scotland or Wales.

You can claim any time after you reach state pension age, but your claim can only be backdated for three months.

When you apply the government will look at all of your income, including your additional state pension, other income from pensions, savings, income from jobs, and investments above £10,000.

The quickest way to apply for pension credit is to call the pension service on 0800 991234. Alternatively you can check your eligibility online on the government website here:

You can use a paper application if you’re unable to make a claim by phone.

When you claim you will need:

  • Your National Insurance number
  • Information about your income, savings and investments
  • Your bank account details


In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I am 75 next year so will not really notice the difference and will continue to pay as usual, however I am fortunate in being able to pay this without flinching but recognise that there are many pensioners who are near the poverty line that are too proud to seek help in terms of pension or any other credits that they may well be entitled to. The mere suggestion of 'Means Testing', fills them with horror while there are many people not in need who are continuing to claim and are receiving benefits historically to which they are no longer entitled. Having been gainfully employed since my teens, I have never made a benefits claim or had the need to but I believe a realistic review of all benefits payments by the government is well overdue.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

It's about time that the BBC started adding adverts and raising income that way, instead of penalising pensioners over 75years. The licence fee is a joke and far too expensive.Nobody worries about the adverts these days, with the ability to FastForward through them if you've recorded a program (and who doesn't these days). The BBC could raise a fortune by adding adverts.; so come on BBC, get with the program and stop penalising everyone.

In reply to by Susie (not verified)


Yes I agree why should we pay when there is a choice to have adverts after all BBC we have paid enough ,.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

did you know that if a family member has Netflix they can put five people on it my daughter done this for me, works very well because TV has such rubbish most of the time, i get Pension Credit but being 75 in August i do not think i will bother getting a Licence at least you do not have to put up with repeats all the time.

Tv licences

I am in my 90s, and believe it is harsh to start making us pay for tv. I do not receive pension credit, but that does not mean I am well off. What next taking our bus passes away,
The heating allowance we get at the beginning of winter, the list is never ending.

TV Licence

Since I became a widow on 3..3..2009 I have paid the licence by direct debit. I received an e-mail to day thanking me for paying my licence, however I was 75yrs old last July so why have they taken money they are not entitled too until June 20?

TVs licence

I am disabled and my ex husband cares for me, I am 80 and we get £2-78 over the guaranteed pension, so not eligible for pension credit, yet now I shall be worried about paying the extra money for tv licence, I will go to prison rather than pay cos I do not watch bbc anyway, let them use adverts if they need money, they can afford to pay thousands to their presenters.

Over 75s having to pay for the licence fee

Why do we have to pay for rubbish like question time wheeling out and same old dross every week and the same old repeats. When there is better stations to look at.

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