Millions of people will receive their free bus pass later than expected as the state pension rises.
Currently, people in England can claim the free pass when they reach the age of 66, but that’s set to rise in the future.
Under the new rules, the perks of hitting pension age – including the free bus pass – will be withheld until 67 or 68.
The rise to 67 will apply to those born on or after April 1960 and 68 to those born on or after April 1977 – although this won’t come into effect for decades.
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While the government in England is finalising the details around the state pension age rising, in other parts of the UK it is much lower, the Express reports.
In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, people may travel by bus for free when they reach 60.
The split has angered English pensioners who have demanded to know why they must wait so much longer to access free travel. A petition on the website 38 Degrees criticising the rules has gained nearly 4,000 signatures.
Its author wrote: “I want to know why a woman aged 60 can get a free bus pass in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but has to wait until 66 to get one in England? England should be the same.”
Another commented: “Why are people only in England not eligible for a bus pass at 60 compared to the rest of the UK?
“Surely this should be changed ASAP.”
There is one place in England, however, where the rules are different.
In London, residents can travel during off peak hours for free before state pension age as long as they keep within the city.
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