The reforms presented to Parliament today will make it easier and faster for pensioners on low incomes to apply for or renew their free-to-air TV license.
The legal change will reduce the administrative burden on qualified persons over the age of 75 applying for a free licence. Currently, those affected must seek and exchange evidence with the BBC to demonstrate that they are receiving pension credit.
This solution would help qualified retirees who are struggling to meet their expenses to claim the annual savings of £159 more quickly and with less effort as the cost of living rises due to the economic effects of the epidemic and war in Ukraine.
Under the new plans, the BBC will be able to automatically check with the Department for Work and Pensions whether someone applying for a free TV license receives a pension credit (DWP).
This means that, in the vast majority of cases, the 7,000 people who apply to TV Licensing each month for a free license will only have to submit an application online or by phone.
Those in receipt of Pension Credit, a benefit that provides extra money to pensioners on state pensions and on low incomes, are still eligible for free TV licenses after the BBC stopped offering them to everyone over 75 in 2020.
Nadine Dorries, Digital Secretary, said:
Low-income pensioners who are still eligible must take steps to avoid paying the fees following the BBC’s regrettable decision to stop issuing free TV licenses to everyone over 75.
With the reforms, those who receive Pension Credit will receive their savings with the least hassle, ensuring that more people receive the support they are entitled to as we work to reduce living costs and grow the economy. .
Guy Opperman, the pensions minister, said:
Everyone should apply for the benefits they are entitled to, including pension credit, which serves as a gateway to other benefits like the free TV license.
The administrative burden for people over 75 will be eased by this adjustment, which will also ease their concerns.
Today a formal instrument amending the Television Licensing Act 2000 was introduced in Parliament. Changes to the application process are expected to come into effect the following year.